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September 3, 2008

Pay attention to the little man behind the curtain
Posted by Teresa at 06:47 PM * 250 comments

Kenny the Kidney (the most astute and articulate 6’6” kidney on the internet) is calling attention to this story in that right-leaning journal of received wisdom, The Politico:

Mounting a ferocious defense of his embattled running mate, John McCain said he is buying a TV ad arguing that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has more experience than the Democratic presidential nominee, Barack Obama.

In an effort to rev up conservatives, a campaign statement issued a list of critical media mentions that it called “smears” of Palin, who speaks in primetime at the convention on Wednesday night. … The ad is what the campaign calls “a forward-leaning effort to counter the shameless smears that have prevailed during Gov. Palin’s introduction to the American voter.”

This, from the campaign that’s been running a nonstop schedule of attack ads aimed at Obama personally?

What I’m about to say won’t come as news to anyone, but I’ll say it all the same: the far right is a whining bunch of sissies who can’t stand up to one little breath of a suggestion of a hundredth of the abuse they habitually dish out. This goes a long way toward explaining why nobody likes them and they can’t get laid for free.

Senior adviser Steve Schmidt gave Politico a statement saying the campaign will have no more comment about the vetting process, —
The McCain Campaign may announce that they’re going to stop defending their vetting process, but that won’t make the issue go away. It’s painfully clear that Sarah Palin had not been vetted when McCain announced her as his running mate.

Palin’s drawbacks as a candidate are a tertiary issue. The real point is McCain’s unbelievably foolish and impulsive handling of a major decision. The secondary point is that McCain has an incompetent campaign organization, yet heads are not rolling the way they should after a fckup of this magnitude. These are not the kind of mistakes a candidate for the presidency should make.

Compared to the dawning realization of how thoroughly McCain blundered, the gynecological adventures of the Palin clan are a mere footnote in the annals of the republic.

—which was the subject of more critical coverage in Wednesday morning’s papers.
Which has been the subject of increasing amounts of critical coverage since Palin’s candidacy was announced. These are real problems. The right-wing press can’t magic them away. Neither can the campaign itself, though they’re trying hard. They’ve issued a remarkable statement that deserves our close attention. Maybe I’ll append it to the bottom of this post.

Onward.

Here is a document the McCain campaign sent to reporters this morning:
REPORTED FALSEHOODS AND SMEARS AGAINST GOV. PALIN’S FAMILY AND HISTORIC CANDIDACY:

• Liberal Bloggers Questioned Whether Gov. Palin’s Fifth Child Was Actually Bristol Palin’s Child.

“Bristol Palin … Trig … past year … infectious mononucleosis for between five and eight months … 43-year-old woman … fifth pregnancy … amniotic fluid … eight-hour plane flight to Seattle and then Anchorage … smaller hospital near her home town … flight attendants … no signs of being pregnant …”
(Please excuse the ensmalling. We already know the story.)

The blogger goes on to say a couple of sensible things: (1.) many of the rumors making the rounds of the internet and the press corps are “unfounded and unseemly”; and (2.) “There must be plenty of medical records and obstetricians and medical eye-witnesses prepared to testify to Sarah Palin’s giving birth to Trig,” so let’s please have the real answers so we can lay this story to rest.

I can’t disagree. And if I were going to single out a liberal blogger, that’s not the one I would have picked for public blame. First, it’s a reasonable post. Second, the blogger in question is Andrew Sullivan, writing in TheAtlantic.com.

Apparently the problems on the official McCain website weren’t an isolated phenomenon.

The fact that the author of that piece is well-known to be well to the right of center didn’t stop the very far right blogosphere from using it to get their hate on. And why not? It’s what they do. For instance, a blog incongruously called Sweetness and Light made Sullivan’s story its centerpiece outrage du jour, in a post titled Things That Make You Hate All Democrats. I don’t expect the blogger at SAL to repent of their willful stupidity, but if they don’t work on that streak of malice, they’re going to wind up doing hard time for it.

Why did the McCain campaign pick Andrew Sullivan’s blogpost to single out for opprobrium? I don’t know. Maybe they don’t keep track of the centrist and leftward blogosphere, so Andrew Sullivan was the one they knew about. Maybe they googled on blogs that were covering that story, and Sullivan’s came out near the top of the first page. Or maybe they were feeling vindictive about stories like this one.

All I know is that the last time I saw someone called a liberal that inappropriately, it was John McCain himself, and he’d just beaten George W. Bush in the New Hampshire primary. When Bush referred to McCain as a liberal in his concession speech, I knew things were about to get extraordinarily ugly. I doubt McCain’s going to do anything that nasty, though—he hasn’t got the necessary attention span or staff on the ground.

Only time will tell. While you’re waiting, consider making a donation to Kenny the Kidney’s cause, which is fighting PKD (only not the one you’re thinking of).

Comments on Pay attention to the little man behind the curtain:
#1 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: September 03, 2008, 07:59 PM:

Yeah, I particularly liked the money quote from the campaign about taking criticism for the lack of vetting: "This nonsense stops now."

Ooh. Daddy's angry.

#2 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: September 03, 2008, 08:22 PM:

I couldn't help noticing that one of the "Democrats" that the Sweetness and Light people were excoriating is a ... Fox News commentator!

Over at the other board I moderate, the "Sarah was covering up for her daughter!" story came in suddenly, from just one poster, who had just joined, and who apparently had no other interests.

Today's raft of only-posts from recently-joined first-time-posters are all close variations on "The Democrats are scared of Sarah Palin!"

Hey, I can recognize astroturf when I see it.

#3 ::: Stephen Frug ::: (view all by) ::: September 03, 2008, 08:22 PM:

These are real problems. The right-wing press can’t magic them away. Neither can the campaign itself, though they’re trying hard.

I dunno. She gives a good speech tonight: the Press, having been "work-the-refs"-ed into feeling bad, declare her a triumph, and the story goes away -- at least from the mainstream press.

The key point here is that the right not only screams bloody murder when subjected to one hundredth of what they routinely dish out, it's that they get away with this. The press reports their slanders; and then it reports their outrage over any liberal questioning as if it's legitimate.

So I think they'll make this one go away too. Palin will be little more than a symbol of the evil liberality of the media, a rallying point for the crazed right.

I hope you're right and I'm wrong. But so far no one's managed to overestimate the degree to which the SCLM will roll over for the right.

#4 ::: don delny ::: (view all by) ::: September 03, 2008, 08:29 PM:

That's interesting. I didn't know Sullivan was conservative.
On the other hand, I was a culturally conservative Clinton-era Republican once upon a time, but I have been informed by Reliable Sources that I am a traitorous, arugula eating, latte sipping, America-hating, terrorist supporting, socialistic, hippie loving, elite, baby-killing-supporting, irreligious, puts-science over God/Common sense/Big Oil/Etc, gun-stealing, European-sympathizing, big meanie who doesn't adequately worship GW Bush and his Ultimate Executive Privilege (of a level over 9000!) and dares to question the integrity of the fine people who defend our country from terrorists by confiscating laptops.

The irony kills me.
And I'm slightly disappointed at not having been accused of being homosexual.
Also, seeing "Posted by Teresa at 06:47 PM * 1 comments" makes me think, hmm, there must be a patch for Moveable Type to fix that pluralization error.

#5 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: September 03, 2008, 08:29 PM:

#2 James D. Macdonald:

Yeah, sadly, I've been hanging around reading (and occasionally posting to) too many political blogs lately and I've been seeing this "Democrats are afraid of Palin" quite a bit. I think it's more along the lines of not having anything else to say than it is anything real.

Kind of like the Noonan/Murphy open mike faux pas. They say one thing when they are "on the air", and say (or think to themselves) quite another thing when they are in the privacy of their skulls.

#6 ::: KB ::: (view all by) ::: September 03, 2008, 08:32 PM:

Her experience consists of 1 1/2 years as governor of a state with a population smaller than San Diego, time served as a mayor of a city with a population under 10,000, and ethics investigations of her abuse of power in both positions.

Is she channeling Spiro Agnew?

There's also talk that she's associated somehow with the Alaska Independence Party, a group that wants Alaska to secede from the union, but her people aren't saying yes or no on that. I hope it's true, good America-loving patriot that she's supposed to be.

In his autobiography, McCain notes that he's a quick decision-maker, much faster than "the other guy," and while that sometimes gets him in trouble, well, he just faces the consequences. He fails to understand in this case that it could be the entire nation that faces the consequences. He's selected Ms. Palin entirely for the purpose of his campaign, not for the country, under the premise that Hillary's supporters are such stupid sexists that they'll vote for to put her in office because she's female. Her lust for Alaska's oil is an added plus.

And now, after pointing fingers at Obama and saying he has no experience, that he's all talk and no substance, McPain has the gall to be miffed at anyone who questions Ms. Pallid's lack of national experience.

Self-absorbed hypocrite.

#7 ::: D. Potter ::: (view all by) ::: September 03, 2008, 08:41 PM:

Andrew Sullivan, for conservative purposes, is more and more a loose cannon. It's as though there is an intelligent and thoughtful man in there and sometimes he gets out.

(No, I'm not saying that conservatives are unintelligent or unthinking. I am suggesting conservatives have a certain...Pavlovian...reaction to any hint that everything the "right" wing does is magic.)

#8 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: September 03, 2008, 08:42 PM:

kb @ #6, "He's selected Ms. Palin entirely for the purpose of his campaign, not for the country, under the premise that Hillary's supporters are such stupid sexists that they'll vote for to put her in office because she's female. Her lust for Alaska's oil is an added plus."

Well, not just for those reasons. I've been hearing convention delegates interviewed by NPR and they're stoked! I'd expect that from the fundamentalist right, but even the "moderate" Republicans Robert Siegel found for All Things Considered think she's a wonderful choice (other than Christie Todd Whitman, who's lukewarm).

#9 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: September 03, 2008, 08:44 PM:

#8: About three or four years ago, Andrew Sullivan realized that his supposed allies in the Republican Party weren't just trying to mollify the religious right with empty words; they Really Meant It with all their talk about the homosexual menace. And he was enlightened.

#10 ::: D. Potter ::: (view all by) ::: September 03, 2008, 08:46 PM:

"NOT everything the 'right' wing does is magic."

I really need the Police not to provide my soundtrack.

#11 ::: ADM ::: (view all by) ::: September 03, 2008, 08:49 PM:

well, I'm a bit scared of Sarah Palin. Who wouldn't be? She represents almost everything I think is wrong with the country right now, and people like her. As in want to vote for her, like her.

And Carly Fiorina is pissing me off.

#12 ::: Josh Jasper ::: (view all by) ::: September 03, 2008, 08:53 PM:

Well, if McCain is mud slinging at Obama for his church, shouldn't Palin's church be fair game too?

Lets talk about them

Or her environmental record

Or the fact that she ran the town of Wasilla into $20 Million of debt

I'm also curious to see how she handles any questions about foreign policy. She's got zero record of having any informed opinions about it. Of course, she may be a secret policy wonk. I'm not going to underestimate her.

#13 ::: Becky ::: (view all by) ::: September 03, 2008, 08:59 PM:

#4, #7, #9: I think the final break for Sullivan with the Republicans wasn't about gay rights, but about torture. He came out strongly and vociferously against torture when the Abu Ghraib news broke, and to his credit, has not wavered from that view. The rest of the right wing turned on him for that.

The real point is McCain’s unbelievably foolish and impulsive handling of a major decision. The secondary point is that McCain has an incompetent campaign organization, yet heads are not rolling the way they should after a fckup of this magnitude. These are not the kind of mistakes a candidate for the presidency should make.

YES. I keep telling myself that Obama beat Clinton in part because he simply ran a better campaign, and that at this rate he should have no problems defeating the self-destructing McCain campaign.

#14 ::: ADM ::: (view all by) ::: September 03, 2008, 09:08 PM:

this article in Time on Palin's early days is interesting, too. "How to ban books?" Indeed.

OMG Romney just called the Supremes liberal.

#15 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: September 03, 2008, 09:20 PM:

the far right is a whining bunch of sissies who can’t stand up to one little breath of a suggestion of a hundredth of the abuse they habitually dish out. This goes a long way toward explaining why nobody likes them and they can’t get laid for free.

Hee, nicely put.

Maybe Palin's family drama is all a smokescreen to hide her heaps of governmental fail.

#16 ::: Matthew Daly ::: (view all by) ::: September 03, 2008, 09:28 PM:

Personally, I'm willing to consider McCain's principal point with one small amendment. It may be that Sarah Palin has as much relevant POTUS experience as Barack Obama had four years ago. (Frankly, I tend to believe that the only non-incumbents who have relevant experience are ex-presidents like Grover Cleveland and Teddy Roosevent, but that's another matter.) The crucial difference is that the Democrats gave Obama the keynote address instead of the vice-presidential nomination and we have spent the intervening four years getting to know him. He has endured more than his share of shitstorms, some more relevant than others, and through them he has shown himself (to me) to be a man of intelligence, dignity, and vision.

Sarah Palin may well be all of these things as well. She may as easily be a rising star with feet of clay like John Edwards or Eliot Spitzer. There is no reasonable way that one can expect the electorate to feel comfortable making such a judgment in a two month period, and simply trusting any biography that Steve Schmidt is peddling to be accurate and complete is not on the table. If it will mildly ameliorate my sexist attitude, I will say that I feel the same way about Admiral James Stockdale; an outstanding American whose only significant flaw is that he didn't turn down Ross Perot's flattering but highly inappropriate job offer.

#17 ::: gurnemanz ::: (view all by) ::: September 03, 2008, 09:31 PM:

Good to see how an experienced editor Writes It Right. Rightly. Correctly.

Medical records are protected under the HIPAA Act. There will be real problems for any person or persons who uncover medical records relating to the last pregnancy of Governor Palin and the birth of Trig Palin.

It's automatically a federal case. Privacy rights and privacy violations with respect to medical records are pretty durn serious stuff under HIPAA.

Which, when you think of the Governor's stance on other related issues, is truly mind-croggling.

It is, beyond a doubt, time to end the Reign-By-Tantrum of these thin-skinned Imperial Infants.

#18 ::: Matthew Daly ::: (view all by) ::: September 03, 2008, 09:32 PM:

... and the next time you revise the spelling reference, I nominate principle. Sigh.

#19 ::: Ambar ::: (view all by) ::: September 03, 2008, 09:54 PM:

I can't quite summon the focus today for all 500 comments on the previous Palin thread, so if this is a repeat, my apologies.

The Murphy-Noonan video, wherein John McCain's former campaign chief Mike Murphy and former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan were caught on tape after an NBC interview, sharing their real thoughts on McCain's judgment in selecting Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate.

Even the Republicans are appalled.

#20 ::: arthur ::: (view all by) ::: September 03, 2008, 10:01 PM:

I give the McCain camp lots of credit for their handling of multiple scandals breaking at once: They keep releasing more and more information about the least important one, and the one where the candidate is most sympathetic. They have kept alive the babymama stories well enough, and for long enough, that no one will remember anything else that's come out about Palin in the last few days. The photo op today was a masterful touch. The sidebar on tomorrow's story about Palin's speech will be about her future son-in-law, not about the lies and such in the speech. And then next time anyone raises anything from the ongoing corruption investigation of Palin to her sticking Wasilla with $20 million in debt to her connections with secessionists, they'l just say it's old news.

#21 ::: Sajia Kabir ::: (view all by) ::: September 03, 2008, 10:20 PM:

Arthur, I fear you are correct.

#22 ::: Harriet Culver ::: (view all by) ::: September 03, 2008, 11:04 PM:

Um. I was sitting here listening to the Palin speech, and especially listening to the crowd booing and growling on cue, and I was suddenly overcome with the sensation that I was living inside Jo Walton's Farthingworld. :-(

#23 ::: Matt McIrvin ::: (view all by) ::: September 03, 2008, 11:09 PM:

I haven't been watching Palin's speech, just skimmed the transcript which was the usual talking points; but expectations have run extremely low, and from the livebloggers it sounds as if she's delivering it competently enough that it'll be covered as a brilliant success (this shouldn't be a surprise, really).

We're probably going to see a bounce for the Republicans in the polls; don't know how big or long-lasting it will be. It will probably start manifesting tomorrow or Friday when the trackers are covering the convention period, then increase into the weekend, just as with the Democratic bounce.

This is my request in advance that people not go insane with grief over this when it happens. Even if it wipes out Obama's polling lead. It's the kind of thing you have to expect. Obama seems to know what he's doing.

That is all.

#24 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: September 03, 2008, 11:17 PM:

TNH, the PKD was the one I was thinking of.

gurnemanz, #17, the medical records can be made public if Palin wants them to be.

#25 ::: aguane ::: (view all by) ::: September 03, 2008, 11:18 PM:

@22: I watched her speech because I wanted to know that what I was reading about it wasn't filtered through the media, instead filtered only through my own personal (pro Obama) biases.

I was saddened to realize as I listened to her introduce her family how much it reminded me of the popular girl in high school running for school president on the grounds of having the cool boyfriend and the right clothes.

I didn't want that to be my response. I wanted to like her if only because she is a woman and she is in a historic spot for females. I was sadly disappointed.

#26 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: September 03, 2008, 11:19 PM:

Harriet@22 Farthing Scared me.

I suppose it was supposed to, but still.

#27 ::: Ambar ::: (view all by) ::: September 03, 2008, 11:23 PM:

#24 -- me too, Marilee, if only because the DNA test for PKD was The big find in cat breeding about the time I quit.

#28 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: September 03, 2008, 11:28 PM:

I had an epiphany today.

Remember McCain's treatment in 2000 at the hands of the Republican Party? The smears about his black lovechild in the SC primary, etc.?

I think it's not entirely implausible for him to have realized he can't win -- because of the mess the Republican Party has made of the country -- and to have figured, what the hell? I think I will RUIN THOSE MISERABLE BASTARDS FOR A GENERATION.

I wouldn't even blame him.

Seriously -- Obama is going to win this one. Indiana is a swing state. And McC's running mate is a three-ring circus all by her lonesome. And he's called Obama the Antichrist. It's just too surreal to be ... real.

The man wants to see himself as a maverick. He's not got another chance at the Presidency, at his age. If I were in his shoes, I would also bear incredible resentment for said bastards. Put two and two together and - viola!

#29 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: September 03, 2008, 11:32 PM:

Michael Weholt @5: [..] I've been seeing this "Democrats are afraid of Palin" quite a bit.

A friend commented that the phrase he was hearing was "the angry left".

I suggested we could make a drinking game out of it (do a shot when some spokesperson said 'the angry left') but we both had things we needed to do...

#30 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 03, 2008, 11:48 PM:

Sarah Palin wouldn't even have had to release all the medical records. A few minor ones would have done it, plus some delivery room personnel saying "Yes, she was there, she had a baby, that's all I'm going to say." That's all it would have taken to keep a seventeen-year-old girl from being dragged through the mud.

But Sarah Palin didn't do that. Neither did her husband. John McCain should have insisted on it. He didn't. This does not help me believe they're telling the truth. But no matter whose child it is, the fact remains that none of them have taken the simple, straightforward steps necessary to protect Bristol Palin from a ghastly experience.

These are not family values in action. This is child abuse for the sake of political advantage.

#31 ::: Harry Connolly ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 12:13 AM:

One thing I noticed (among all the talk of "liberal supreme court" and big government) was the number of times speakers used the phrase "media elite" and "liberal media."

It's like the growl of a wounded dog, trying to frighten away anyone who frightens it.

As for the "Democrats are afraid of Palin" meme-wannabe, I liked the way Ezra Klein responded to Fred Thompson on that: Note to Thompson: You're an actor, not a Jedi. These were the droids we were looking for...

For myself, I watched her speech tonight (I missed the others because of work and family obligations) and thought it was fine. She read from the teleprompter before the second-friendliest crowd she's ever had (First friendliest: Showing off her ballet-dancing when she was seven to grandma and grandpa). It was an okay speech, but I wonder how she's going to do when reporters come after her without a script.

The real test for her is yet to come.

#32 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 12:15 AM:

Yeah. I've been wondering about the baby. So have the mothers of little kids that I know. They know what a 4 month postpartum mother is like, how little sleep happens, and how little higher thought happens due to the sleep deprivation. We can't imagine how someone with a 4 month old, let alone a special needs baby, could have the energy for campaigning.

I can imagine the 3am call she could get, after she's had no REM cycles for the last two nights because the baby just isn't letting that happen. You don't want this person a heartbeat away from the car keys, let alone the big red button.

I'm not going to say that a mother's place is in the home. I might mention that a child needs two parents, and that it's good if they occasionally get to see them, but only because that seems to be a right wing thing to say when they disapprove of someone else's choices. But I will mention that the baby probably needs a mother.

Maybe she has a different family life. But I'm thinking different planet like, not just a little less attachment parent style.


#33 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 12:20 AM:

Has this been linked to yet?

Palin's church talk

"I think God's will has to be done in unifying people and companies to get that gas line built, so pray for that," she said.

#34 ::: Summer Storms ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 12:32 AM:

Regarding Trig Palin, either he is 1) Sarah's fifth child, or 2) Bristol's first child. Either way, things don't look too good for the honesty of the Palin family. Why? Think on the following:

Assuming Trig is biologically Bristol's child, the Palins have been caught in a flat-out lie. The math suggests, however, that Bristol could not have given birth to Trig, since she is supposedly five months pregnant right now. But stay tuned...

ssmng Trg s nt n fct Brstl's chld, thn t prphrs frnd f mn, Srh Pln's nglgnt ctns wth rgrd t th crcmstncs f hs brth - dstnt trvl n th thrd trmstr f hgh-rsk prgnnc (hr g nd th fct tht sh llgdl lrd knw h hd Dwns Syndrm), cpld wth dcdng t trvl ll th wy bck whl n lbr ftr hr wtr brk - crtnl lk sspcsl lk dlbrt ttmpt t hv th nfnt nt srvv. Hd Trg nt srvvd, my gss s tht t wld hv bn pntd s sttn f "h, t bd, pr kd, bt prhps t ws fr th bst"... whn n ctlt t wld hv bn wht mntd t vr lt trm brtn. Whch, f crs, bng n rcrd s pr-lf, Pln cldn't hv jst dn hnstl. h, nd mx n th fct tht pprntly th Pln fmly ddn't mk t pblc tht sh ws prgnnt wth Trg ntl ftr th brth, nd vrythng pnts t thr bng tht smthng thrghl rttn n th stt f lsk.

(PS: Teresa, I'd like to nominate "voila" for the spelling hints section. If it isn't already there, that is. Memory fails.)

#35 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 12:45 AM:

From reports, Gov. Palin isn't the primary caregiver for her children, so rested doesn't bother me.

That she's selling herself as this Überfrau who is both governor and mother, when it seems she's not (with the frisson of sympathy/pity/heroisme which comes of the child having Down's...) that bothers me.

#36 ::: ADM ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 12:46 AM:

She's got other kids to help out, and obviously uses them (and I'm not saying this is necessarily bad -- most of the people I grew up with helped to take care of their siblings). I do have to ask, though -- if Bristol Palin is 5 months pregnant, isn't it darned close to impossible that Trig is hers? I suppose it could belong to the younger sister, but ... also, isn't Down's Syndrome much more common to older parents, rather than younger?

M, 'm hvng mch sr tm blvng tht th bb s Pln's nd tht sh trvld whn sh shldn't hv, pttng th fts t rsk. nd th rll cyncl prt f m thnks tht rbd nt-brtn prsn mght nt s mscrrg brght bt by lck f cr s nythng bt ntrl.

#37 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 01:05 AM:

ADM: Don't go there. It's been (for quite reasonable cause) place out of bounds.

We shan't put windows into men's souls, but speculations like that are both invidious, invite terrible second order effects.

#38 ::: Summer Storms ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 01:14 AM:

I don't know, Terry. It seems to me to be a perfectly reasonable thing to wonder about.

#39 ::: Jen Roth ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 01:14 AM:

I must not post in anger, I must not post in anger...

#40 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 01:18 AM:

Summer @34 -- apparently you've never seen that joke before. Sorry if I rattled you.

#41 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 01:24 AM:

I want to remind people of the ban on that topic.

It came up in another thread, and quite apart from the risk of inciting trolls, it was (and damned fast) leading to members of the community getting more than a little heated at each other.

We don't need that, we don't want that, and we have the power to prevent it.

#42 ::: Summer Storms ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 01:25 AM:

Michael @ 40: No, I pretty much figured you were joking. What had me rattled would be the dozen or so times I've seen that particular misspelling elsewhere this week (and the week's only half over) and been equally certain the perpetrators were NOT joking... *eyeroll*

#43 ::: Summer Storms ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 01:28 AM:

Terry, I wasn't there, I don't have any idea what thread you are even talking about.

I will reiterate my point that the entire thing, in whatever form, smacks of dishonesty on Palin's part, which is NOT something this nation needs in a Vice President or any other political leader.

Anyone who has a problem with my thinking that Palin is a dishonest person can go work for Fox Noise.

#44 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 01:34 AM:

Summer Storms @ 38: "Anyone who has a problem with my thinking that Palin is a dishonest person can go work for Fox Noise."

Actually, the part that's raised objections is the part where you accused your political opponents of chld nglct wth th intnt t kll. Drop that part, and I think you'll find that many agree that flying while leaking amniotic fluid does in fact represent terrible judgement on her part.

#45 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 01:35 AM:

Wow, I just used the word "part" way too much there.

#46 ::: Summer Storms ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 01:52 AM:

Heresiarch @ 44: If you'd read my earlier post thoroughly, you would have seen that *I* did not make any such accusation; I was relating what a friend of mine said when she heard about the whole thing. The thought had not even crossed my mind until that conversation with said friend; however, on record here I merely acknowledge that it is possible that Palin had that in mind, and that if she did it makes her look seriously dishonest, among other things. Since when is it a crime around here to acknowledge the possibility that ANYONE, be they public or private, friend or foe, is not as forthright they advertise themselves to be?

My point remains that there is something that just rings WRONG about Palin, on many levels and for many reasons. Accusations of unfitness for office, for reasons ranging from the mild to the severe, are a fairly standard part of political discussions in this country and around the world, on all sides of every aisle.

#47 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 01:54 AM:

I had an idle thought while watching Palin speak to that crowd: How many of those older white guys were really happy to see her (or any woman) as their party's candidate for VP?

No way of knowing, I suppose, but there were an awful lot of Babbit types in there.

#48 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 01:57 AM:

Please, everyone, just stop.

Summer Storms: I agree, Palin rings really false. I also figured those who were addressing this topic didn't see it in the Palin Thread.

Heresiarch: She didn't say it, ADM did, but talking about what it implie (or we might infer) leads right back to the problems that thread was building to.

#49 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 02:23 AM:

Summer Storms @ 46: "If you'd read my earlier post thoroughly, you would have seen that *I* did not make any such accusation; I was relating what a friend of mine said when she heard about the whole thing."

I'm fairly sure that you were the one who chose to type it, not your friend. When you repeat a stupid nasty rumor, you don't get to blame the person who thought it first. You and only you are responsible for the words that come out of your mouth.

(Also, shouldn't accusing someone of not having read your argument thoroughly/correctly be on the flamer bingo card?)

"My point remains that there is something that just rings WRONG about Palin, on many levels and for many reasons."

No, there isn't "something that just rings wrong" about her--there are many well-documented, concrete examples of things that ARE wrong about her. "Just rings wrong" sounds like nothing so much as the slimy, "ooh he's secretly a Muslim/black nationalist/I just don't trust him" rumor-mongering that's going on among right-wingers regarding Obama. "Just rings wrong" is the refuge of people who don't actually have any good evidence to back up their position and have to resort to casting backhanded aspersions against their opponents. We don't have to do that! Palin is patently unsuited to be VP in any number of obvious ways! We don't have to allude to hr scrt ttmpt t cs mscrrg.

I take back what I said in the "McCain and Palin" thread. We really can't discuss Palin's personal life without descending into despicable gossip-mongering, can we?

Terry Karney @ 48: Yes, she did. #34, about halfway through the big paragraph.

#50 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 02:30 AM:

I was yelling at my tv, I'm sure other Alaskans were too. Though the cult of personality for her up here is disturbing.

I did yell this - "I am a bitter person who clutches her guns but rejects religion, and I'm not voting for you."

#51 ::: Summer Storms ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 02:43 AM:

Heresiarch: You're talking to me about flaming?

#52 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 02:53 AM:

The annual budget of Wasilla when Sarah Palin became mayor was $3.9 million. Under her watch, it rose to $5.8 million—an increase of 49%--over six years. She also left long-term debt of roughly $20 million, or 5.1 times her initial budget.

Let's compare that with Bush's record in the White House. His 2002 budget (the first of his administration) was $2 trillion dollars. Six years later it was $2.77 trillion, increasing by 39%. Over that same period, he accumulated $3.2 trillion dollars of debt*, or 1.6 times the amount of his initial budget.

If Palin’s fiscal record in Wasilla were emulated across the entire U.S., the federal budget would increase from $3.1 trillion to $4.6 trillion by 2014, and she would add $15.9 trillion dollars to the national debt.

Palin: fiscally, she’s even worse than Bush!

*I’m not sure if this includes Iraq war debt.

#53 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 03:21 AM:

Heresiarch: Ok, so she did. You were in the thread where the moratorium was declared.

You could have let it lie. Look at the way you and she are sniping at each other; that's precisely what I don't think we want, nor need.

Played large it's a win for the Republicans. They get to crow about how nasty the Liberals are, people start to feel sorry for Palin (and so ignore her actual record) and those opposed to McCain are feuding amongst themselves about crap we could be ignoring.

I've said my piece, too long, and too loud. I think my opinions on this are about as concrete as I can make them so I'll stop. Someone with keys can do whatever needs doing.

#54 ::: Summer Storms ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 03:38 AM:

Christ on a cracker, the bottom line (for me, anyway, YMMV) is this: Palin is AFAICT irresponsible on any number of levels from the personal to the statewide and potentially national; she is also hypocritical on about as many levels, if one is to believe all the reports about her positions and actions - political or personal - over the time she has held public office; she appears to have been a hasty and probably regrettable choice for McCain and his campaign; and if there is any justice in the universe, this will prove to be the undoing of McCain's presidential ambitions.

Seriously, one ought not to have to list the entire litany of Palin's inadequacies, errors, or just plain wrongheadedness in order to say that, even had I been likely to have voted for McCain in the first place (an event with zero probability), his clearly inane (or insane) decision to choose someone like her as a running mate, and/or to put in the same effort at making such a choice as a student attempting to write an entire term paper while on a fifteen-minute bus ride to school would have swiftly put paid to any plan I might have had to cast my ballot for him.

#55 ::: Sarah E ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 04:01 AM:

Tania, you were not the only Alaskan yelling at the tv. I ended up at my parents' house this evening (some families the Olympics, mine watches political conventions). There was choral shouting with interjections from my brother on the phone, as well as frequent trips to the computer in the other room, so that we could be certain that the things we shouted were more or less accurate.

My family has been eerily Palin-charisma resistant. The nicest thing I've heard a member of my immediate family say about her is, "well, she's not as bad as Murkowski." Given Sarah-mania I have occasionally wondered if we ought to donate DNA for study.

#56 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 04:02 AM:

Summer Storms @ 54: 100% agreed.

#57 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 04:37 AM:

OMNES:
I have disemvoweled sections of a number of comments here. If you want to know what we're NOT going to talk about further, read them. Then don't talk about it.

Some accusations* are beyond the pale. Leaving aside the very real probability that those looking for malice will see it in these comments (and amplify it into outrage), we damage ourselves as people when we move such momentary dreadful thoughts from the private to the public sphere. There is plenty to discuss that doesn't go there.

Further comments on this matter will be removed in their entirety; I only leave the disemvoweled ones so that people can figure out where not to go again. I trust that no one will feel it necessary to once again accuse me of either censorship or enabling the suppression of discourse.

God damn it, people, we're better than this.

(Indeed, I note that the last couple of comments, posted while I have been cleaning up, prove that we are better than this. Thank you, Terry, heresiarch, and Summer Storms.)

-----
* This term includes rumors, innuendo, "my friend said that...", "I was just thinkin'", and all related means of discussion. Things grow in discussion, from thought to suggestion to rumor to accusation to anger to hate to suffering.

#58 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 04:51 AM:

#57 abi: I trust that no one will feel it necessary to once again accuse me of either censorship or enabling the suppression of discourse.

I just want it noted that that accusation was not made by me. I was talking about a political environment that we live in, and that ML is part of that environment -- not that it was "caving in" to that environment but that it exists in that environment and so is subject to trolls and attacks from outsiders. I will remind the room that I was the first one to start calling for the topic to be deleted, and at the end was begging for it to be deleted.

I just want that noted. I don't want to go into this any further.

#59 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 04:53 AM:

Terry Karney @35: From reports, Gov. Palin isn't the primary caregiver for her children, so rested doesn't bother me.

That she's selling herself as this Überfrau who is both governor and mother, when it seems she's not (with the frisson of sympathy/pity/heroisme which comes of the child having Down's...) that bothers me.

Tried to find a link for the cartoon which appeared today in the local paper; no luck. Here's my best attempt to describe it:

Mom holding crying baby while feeling forehead of another child with thermometer in mouth; captioned 'Health Care'.

Mom driving car packed with kids (hockey stick sticking out of window); captioned 'Transit'.

Mom with shopping cart, reading list, scanning jar (while two kids waive items of their own); captioned 'Budget'.

Mom asking kid about to play hockey (in cartoon balloon) "Is your body armor ok?"; captioned 'Commander In Chief'.

Text panel: A Mother Of Five...

Mom with cup of coffee, legs up on desk, American flag in background, with cartoon balloon "Piece of cake!"; captioned 'Ready To Serve Day One'.
The cartoonist's name is apparently 'Singe Wilkinson', originally published in the Philadelpia Daily News (and picked up by the local paper); but I still can't find a direct link to the cartoon.

It does feed into the image you are describing.

#60 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 04:54 AM:

Michael @58:

That is not the way it came across.

#61 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 04:58 AM:

Previous post: For 'waive' read 'wave' (useless spellcheck...)

#62 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 05:01 AM:

#60 abi: Michael @58: That is not the way it came across.

Well, that's what it was. I will gladly accept the criticism that I could have been clearer about what I was saying, but if you still think I'm operating in bad faith here I invite you to go back and look at it again.

#63 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 05:10 AM:

Michael @62:
I invite you to go back and look at it again.

I think re-hashing the matter in detail would be pointless, particularly since most of the relevant comments are now unpublished.

Leaving that aside, the next time I ask you to stop talking about something, please just stop talking about it. Change the subject, move on.

#64 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 05:42 AM:

#63 abi: I think re-hashing the matter in detail would be pointless, particularly since most of the relevant comments are now unpublished.

From which I will assume that you have in good faith taken my point that it has to be quite a stretch that I would be accusing anybody of censorship when I had been calling for the topic to be deleted.

Leaving that aside, the next time I ask you to stop talking about something, please just stop talking about it. Change the subject, move on.

I think moving on is an excellent idea and I think I will do that.

#65 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 05:51 AM:

Michael @64:

From which I will assume that you have in good faith taken my point that it has to be quite a stretch that I would be accusing anybody of censorship when I had been calling for the topic to be deleted.

Do not put words into my mouth.

I have reread the postings, and I do not agree that your summary is a balanced representation of the range of your comments.

Move along. Let this matter pass into history as a misunderstanding. That is really the best offer you are going to get.

#66 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 05:55 AM:

Never mind. I've had it. This is bad faith. I'm taking ML off my bookmarks so you don't have to worry about it anymore.

#67 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 06:00 AM:

abi @ 57... I trust that no one will feel it necessary to once again accuse me of either censorship or enabling the suppression of discourse

Abi Sutherland will be back in Abi the Censorian. Cue in music by Basil Poledouris. Darn. Where did I put that photo from Serenity where River Tam is standing on top of a heap of dead Reavers, with ink dripping from her disenvoweller?

#68 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 06:16 AM:

Michael Weholt: It's not bad faith. You asked abi to agree with you. She didn't.

You kept trying to convince her/present her as having agreed with you. At least twice you did it in ways which forced her to say that she still didn't lest her silence equal assent.

If it were me, I'd have been less restrained in telling you so. If you want to flounce, feel free, but don't expect me to think it's because you were treated shabbily; I don't have the comments to look at, so I don't know (I may not have seen them) who said what abot censorship, but I do know that abi seems to be the most forbearant of our hosts and you seem to have been (for whatever reasons) pushing at her limits.

All of which tells me this is a really touchy subject, and we ought to avoid it like the plague.

#69 ::: Wakboth ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 06:20 AM:

Why talk about Palin's children or family at all? Obama, IIRC, has stated that families are, and should be, out of bounds.

There are plenty of weird and disturbing things about Palin - her ties to Alaska Independence Party, her support of ID, her ties with the corruption endemic in the Alaska GOP and state government, her ignorance of what a VP does, her freaky religious and social beliefs, and probably more - that don't drag the Democrats into mud, and don't allow Palin and the Republicans any chance of being a martyr.

#70 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 06:21 AM:

Terry Karney @ 68... Hear, hear! As for myself, I want to thank Abi for the work she does here to keep things civil. I'd call it a thankless job except that I just thanked her. Thanks again, Abi.

#71 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 06:32 AM:

Wakboth@69

To some extent, I think it's frustration from watching the GOP winning elections with the same type of garbage. There is a natural tendency to wonder if maybe the Democrats should be doing the same thing in return.

Even from a strictly tactical standpoint, however, I suspect that getting into a smear competition with the GOP is a losing game. Plays into their strengths not ours. Better to find a way to move the campaign to more favorable ground.

#72 ::: Sten ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 06:46 AM:

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bm's bggst chllng, nw, s gng t b t try nd gt thngs bck n tsk. Pln hs trnd ths lctn nt vp-vrss-pp bttl whn t's rlly pp-vrss-pp. f bm llws hmslf t gt sckd nt n, "'m mr qlfd thn th ppnnts' Vc Prsdnt!" bttl, t'll b lsr fr hm nd wn fr th GP.

#73 ::: John Chu ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 06:57 AM:

Whether it's through accident or brilliance, the McCain campaign has done a really good job of steering the Palin discussion to utter non-issues. What makes her incompetent to be VP and how the decision to nominate her points out his incompetence to be POTUS have barely gotten an airing in the media.

[IOW, as #20 said, they may want this story to have play so that they don't have to talk about the ethics charges leveled against her. Or how she was for earmarks before she was against them. That she's running as a reformer is ironic at best. OTOH, sometimes, it's the stupid things that scuttle a candidacy.]

Also, the media have shown that they are willing to prop up McCain's campaign no matter how poorly he runs it. Remember when he was out of contention for the nomination? Part of it is that they like a close horse race. (Never mind the fate of the country. It's about the compelling narrative.) Part of it is that they genuinely like him. He's sort of a Ron Paul with inexplicable credibility. I don't see them exposing McCain as being Whiny McWhiner.

It's pretty clear from here out, McCain will respond to any charge against him with: "How dare you insult my patriotism? I'm a former POW." Likewise, he will meet any charge against Palin with: "You wouldn't say that if she weren't a woman." How courageous and maverick of him. (Ok, surrogates may do the dirty work for him. Because that's even more courageous and maverick.)

It all sounds like "I saw something nasty in the woodshed" to me. Quick, someone tempt them to take a trip to Paris.

#72: We've already seen Obama debate. However, you're right that Palin is an unknown quality on the national stage. With respect to the experience thing, the question the Republicans have to answer is why they think Palin is more qualified than McCain.

#74 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 07:03 AM:

Andrew Sullivan, a disciple of Michael Oakeshott, is a liberal? To what species does Steve Schmidt belong?

#75 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 07:10 AM:

Thanks, Terry and Serge.

A little perspective here:

We get triple-digit quantities of comments on Making Light every day. We have hundreds of regular commenters and many brief visitors.

I read it all, every comment, every thread. That's a whole lotta words and names going through my head.

I am mortal and forgetful. I'm also mildly name-blind, tending to identify people first by their tone and their circumstances, and only later by their names. I have to really work at names.

The result of this is that very few incidents become branded into my memory with names attached. I'll remember That Dreadful Attempt at a Joke, but not who made it. I'll recall That Unwise Joining of a Pile-On, but not who was in the pile.

So when I say that we should allow something to pass into history, I mean that it will pass out of active memory associated with a given person. To the weight and mass of a regular's body of comments in this community, one awkward incident, one misunderstanding, one angry flounce, is as a feather.

#76 ::: John L ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 07:21 AM:

When Palin trots out her family for public viewing (plus babydaddy Levi), and then mentions several of them by name in her acceptance speech, she (or McCain) cannot then claim that media attention on them is "unfair" and they shouldn't be subjected to that kind of scrutiny.

Having said that, Palin last night only demonstrated she knows how to read the teleprompter of a speech written by someone else. Even the snippets I heard this morning sounded like someone reading a script, instead of actually speaking from the heart. Not that any of that mattered to the audience, of course.

Eric @32:

I'm sure Palin has a veritable army of nurses, nannies and other staff to take care of all her at-home children, including the one with Down's Syndrome. After all, she fired the cook and sold the jet, so that money's available for other personnel. Too bad all those adults weren't around when Bristol was posing for those photos showing her drinking, though.

#77 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 08:10 AM:

Will somebody please explain to me what's wrong with community organisers. Helping people get back on their feet, improve their conditions of life, get better housing, medical care, and so on seem to me good things. But Rudy 9/11 Guiliani and Sara Hockey Mom Palin seem to think otherwise.

#78 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 08:25 AM:

I shall just note, for general information, that it has been alleged that some initial, "official", statements about Palin's past have, without any fuss, been deleted from web pages.

For instance, reported via Avedon Carol's The Sideshow

If this is as it seems, some of the accusations against Palin could suddenly look wholly unsupported.

#79 ::: Matt McIrvin ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 08:40 AM:

Will somebody please explain to me what's wrong with community organisers.

The phrase is associated in the white conservative mind with black or Hispanic people and their pursuit of grievances.

#80 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 08:45 AM:

Oh, bloody hell. If there's a measure of the sheer poisonousness of this topic, it's that it can set excellent people like Abi Sutherland and Michael Weholt at odds with each other.

As far as I'm concerned, the core of this problem is that it need not exist. The Palins could have cleared up the questions at any time. They still could. They haven't. The McCain-Palin campaign is using the ambiguity to their advantage, even though it means Bristol Palin gets dragged through a cubic mile of sht. The person doing the dragging is Bristol's own mother. It may be the ugliest episode I've ever seen in a political campaign.

We need to discuss the other things that are wrong with Sarah Palin. There's no shortage.

#81 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 08:57 AM:

Rob Rusick #59: The cartoonist's name is apparently 'Singe Wilkinson'

Found it. The cartoonist's name is Signe Wilkinson

#82 ::: Ronit ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 09:04 AM:

For those who would like to discuss Sarah Palin from an issues based perspective, I offer the Obama campaign's fact check of her speech last night.

http://www.samefacts.com/archives/campaign_2008_/2008/09/palin_v_reality.php

Some highlights:

PALIN: “Our opponents say, again and again, that drilling will not solve all of America's energy problems - as if we all didn't know that already. But the fact that drilling won't solve every problem is no excuse to do nothing at all.”

REALITY: PALIN SAID SHE WOULD BEG TO DISAGREE WITH ANY CANDIDATE WHO SAID WE CAN’T DRILL OUR WAY OUT OF OUR PROBLEM

Palin Said She Would Beg to Disagree With Candidate Who Said We Can’t Drill Our Way Out of Our Problem. Asked by Invester’s Business Daily “Some politicians and presidential candidates say we can't drill our way out of our energy problem and that drilling in ANWR will have no effect. What's your best guess of the impact on prices?” Palin responded, “I beg to disagree with any candidate who would say we can't drill our way out of our problem or that more supply won't ultimately affect prices. Of course it will affect prices. Energy being a global market, it's impossible to venture a guess on (specific) prices.” [Investor’s Business Daily, 7/11/08]

#83 ::: Cat Meadors ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 09:05 AM:

Fragano - I think it's that community organizers tend to help the wrong sorts of "communities". You know. Those people. At least that's my best guess as to the objection.

I could only watch a little bit of the speech last night, but I did happen to flip past exactly as the little girl licked her baby brother's head. (Well, licked her hand and used it to smooth his hair down. Same difference.) Awwwww... now I'm voting McCain!

(Well, not really. But I am starting to believe that the kid thing/family drama can only help them, because it's easy to ignore policy/morals/beliefs when you feel friendly or protective towards someone. It's where the whole "but some of my best friends are x" thing comes from, after all.)

#84 ::: Raphael ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 09:06 AM:

Teresa @80:
As far as I'm concerned, the core of this problem is that it need not exist. The Palins could have cleared up the questions at any time. They still could. They haven't. The McCain-Palin campaign is using the ambiguity to their advantage, even though it means Bristol Palin gets dragged through a cubic mile of sht.

That's no good reason to give McCain exactly what he wants, though.

#85 ::: Nina Katarina ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 09:11 AM:

To me the worst personality aspect that's come to light is her fondness for abuse of power. Firing the guy who refused to fire the ex-brother-in-law, firing the police chief who voted against her in the mayoral election, firing the librarian who wouldn't ban books...

Governor Umbridge.

#86 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 09:36 AM:

#85: And I remember back in the 1970s no one took the real-life model for Umbridge seriously, either.

#87 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 09:37 AM:

[self-deleted; if I "go there", I'll do it on my own blog.]

#88 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 09:50 AM:

abi @ 75... I'll remember That Dreadful Attempt at a Joke, but not who made it.

(phew)

#89 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 09:52 AM:

From Fox News: "They both oppose a national windfall profits tax on oil companies, saying it would hinder domestic production. But she raised taxes on oil companies in Alaska last year, arguing that her predecessor, Frank Murkowski gave them too many breaks."

#90 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 10:03 AM:

She wants to go to Washington to "serve America."

She didn't say what she's going to serve.

Perhaps it's Jonesville Kool-Aid?

#91 ::: Manny ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 10:04 AM:

My parents had copy of the official report on the Watts Riots that had pictures of policemen beating and dragging people. (The local paper had produced a edition with their own photos illustrating the official text). I had an unrepentant 60s radical for my college polisci class and one of our texts was all about Cointelpro, the FBI program of infiltration by provacateurs. I have never had the luxury of living in a world where had the illusion I could trust policemen to protect my rights.

#92 ::: Manny ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 10:06 AM:

Well, that's a new kind of mistake. That comment was, I hope obviously, meant for another entry.

#93 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 10:17 AM:

Paula Lieberman @ 90...

"Mr. Chambers... Mr. Chambers, the first page is just a collection of English words with their own translation. But the rest of the book... the rest of the book - To Serve America... It's a cookbook!"

#94 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 10:26 AM:

#9 Jon

Where's David Brock (Blinded by the Right etc. He's one of the reasons that piece of excrement got into the White House and one of the people who effected Clarence Thomas' accenscion to the Supreme Court--things I find unforgiveable) these days, to mention one ex-neo con and ex-Republican promotion "journalist."

#11 ADM

Palin reminds me of the sort of utterly noxious high school popular girl bully, charming to all the males and protected and put on pedestals by them, and busily demeaning and stepping on other girls, and in particular kicking ME in the face while smiling prettily and pretending to be Gracious and Wonderful, while the smile was actually one of "I am a bully and you are a toy for me to show my superiority over and I thoroughly enjoy hurting you! The more you hurt, the happier I am!"

And McCain, of course, is one of the boys hoisting the bitch up onto the pedestal showing off his pecs and manliness and studliness engaging in extolling her and telling everyone how wonderful she is and how wonderful it is to show off such a wonderful person as (the bitch on the pedestal), and by his actions showing how wonderful he is.... and the rest of the world's not supposed to notice how many girls/women he's stomping on as he shows his graciousness in elevating and extolling the bitch on the pedestal.

And the whole show of the pedestal, the focus on elevating the female, the faux-chivalry involved, is a show to take people's attention off issues of material concern, and instead focus on faux-chivalry.

#95 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 10:35 AM:

#11 ADM
Carly Fiorina destroyed Hewlett-Pacard and offshored everything but the sales and marketing operations for North America and the executive offices. She doesn't have the stature of a bad joke.... she's got no more value than William Agee, exterminator through his greed of Bendix.

Palin is NOT Everywoman.
She and I have nothing in common other than being of the same species and female and such.

I had a list of things which are differentiators, ranging from her having and marrying her high school sweetheart and me having had neither a high school honey nor a husband; her having kids and me having none, me being a military veteran and her with no such background, she being a hunter and me never having possessed even a gun.... but a computer freeze up lost the content I was writing.

Entities like Sarah Palin made my life hell for the eleven years I was in public school. My visceral reaction is that I hate her guts and despise her utterly.

#96 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 10:36 AM:

abi @ 57: You're welcome*, I'm sorry**, and thank you***.

*for what good I've done,
**for the damage I've done,
***for wielding the disemvoweler with such precision, and also generally for being such a good custodian of our conversation. Your work is appreciated.

Terry Karney @ 68: Well put.

#97 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 11:08 AM:

Paula @ 94, 95: I also knew girls like that in elementary and middle school. I was blessed to have not one or two, but a whole pack of them in my elementary/middle school class*, a gathering of nastiness that was reknowned throughout the public school system of my town. To this day I despise them for what they did to me and to other girls who were "different". My partner finds it hard to believe that I could have such anger based on elementary school incidents, and thinks that people change as they grow up. I have to admit that I am not interested in finding out whether those girls ever changed**.

I escaped the girls by joining the boys; I hung out with the boys from second grade through the seventh grade. I left the public school in the eighth grade and left them all behind.

Sarah Palin is very likely one of those girls that benefited from her looks and her scholastic aptitude, plus she had athletic skills to boost her cred. If only she had been a pagan, liberal, environmentally-friendly, balanced-budget, anti-global-warming, academically-inclined gay-positive Democrat!

*My town was small enough to have just an elementary and a "middle" school, and all the kids in town went to other towns for high school.
**I have changed, I admit. I still don't care for that kind of girl, but I'm not as angry any more. I just don't have the energy to be so angry.

#98 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 11:10 AM:

#69 Wakeboth

Barney Frank explained why Sarah Palin's family reality versus the image she is trying to project is fair game, it's because Palin is the one whose entire political paradigm has a basis of a concept which is essentially, "I am a Mommy! Me being a Mommy is my bedrock identity and basis for competence and claim to pre-eminence. I'm just your ordinary Alaskan housewife, coming to politics at the local, then state, and now federal level, with the values and moral mandate of being a Mommy to remake the United States and the world into compliance with my Traditional Christian * Values Mommyhood!"

* This is not my view of what Christianity is/should be. As a mostly secular Jew evangelizing crusading Christianity has been a historically homicidal continuing threat for more than a thousand years... note the apology that Ellen Kushner placed as her dedication in her novel Thomas the Rhymer to the Jews of York, massacred by homicidal maniacs claiming to be Christians....

Gov Palin used the Family Card not only at every opportunity, but applies it whether it has actual pertinence or not. She applies it as bludgeon and obfuscation and billy club and shield, it is a flag she wraps herself in and a banner she swings as a cudgel....

She uses it as offensive and defensive weapon. It was her choice to wield it as banner and weapon and wields it as intrinsic armor. It's ubiquitous and permeates her public persona... and she chose to portray herself that way.

Since it's so all-pervasive about her, there is no way to do discuss Gov Palin with its omnipresence, it makes elephants in the livingroom utterly invisible and not there, in comparison. Why should SHE get to be the rider on the war elephant, with razor-tipped big tusks and big armored feet and her sitting atop the armored rampaging beast wielding a submachine gun shooting at people that I am among, while those she shoots at don't even get allowed to mention the elephant, let attack the blasted thing?!

Hmm, I wasn't thinking of it when the metaphor hit me, I was busily composing/typing away, when it suddenly occurred to me that the elephant is the totem of the Republican Party....

Palin with a machine gun on an armored elephant labelled Religion, stomping the the US Constitution and Bill of Rights(or perhaps the elephant taking a dump on them...)...

#99 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 11:18 AM:

Paula #95: Yep. I remember hearing talk about Carly Fiorina being the VP nominee, and the only thing I could think of was the amazingly low opinion of her held by a good friend of mine who works at HP. ("She's ready to do for the nation what she's done for HP.")

#100 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 11:26 AM:

Teresa #80:

Is there a good, reliable summary of her stated positions on the issues, with quotes? I've seen claims of some pretty bizarre beliefs here and elsewhere, and I'd like to know how many of them are true, and why I should believe them.

In some sense, this is irrelevant. Short of Obama discarding Biden in favor of Charles Manson as his VP candidate and proposing to solve the world's hunger problems through cannibalism[1], McCain/Palin pretty much cannot win my vote. (Obama/Biden can lose it, but McCain/Palin can't win it.) But I'd like to see what this lady who wants to be VP really believes, based on things she's actually said.

[1] A swift path to the white house.

#101 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 11:31 AM:

#93 Serge

As opposed to To Serve Man the cookbook....

#99 myself

Maccabees versus Seleucid war elephants....

#102 ::: Jen Roth ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 11:36 AM:

albatross: ontheissues.org is adding positions and quotes to their Sarah Palin page rapidly. When she was announced as the VP pick, there was essentially nothing there.

#103 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 11:36 AM:

Teresa/abi:

Thanks for stepping in here. (I have contributed some to the heat in this discussion, and I'm sorry I did.) The fact is, we're being played! The whole Palin family drama is the path we're supposed to go down, a bait that the MSM pretty much can't avoid taking, but that we can.

Simply nominating a woman after Obama chose Biden probably wasn't enough to get large number of women to stay home/vote McCain. But getting these issues of motherhood, parenting, babies, unwed pregnancies, etc., churning everyone up can stir up enough bitterness and mysogyny and hypocrisy to get a lot of women to stay home/vote McCain. It also fires up the base, by appealing to that "we are the oppressed whipping-boys of the evil liberal media" meme that the right loves so well.

Now, I think (as someone said long ago) this is a desperate strategy. This can give McCain a big bounce now, and maybe can immunize Palin from some kinds of attack later, but it can't fix the fundamental problems with the McCain/Palin campaign. It can't make her look like a reasonable choice for VP, it can't change her stated positions on the issues, it can't fix the abuse of power scandals in her past. That burning piano is still falling toward the puppy farm, even if Rove is playing one hell of an entertaining song on it as it falls.

#104 ::: John L ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 11:39 AM:

In the "oh good grief" category:

Apparently the Republican Party, hearing criticism about Palin's lack of foreign policy experience, has decided that Alaska's proximity to Russia is justification enough.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/09/04/politics/animal/main4414663.shtml

I thought it was stupid when Doocy on FoxNews said it, but McCAIN???

#105 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 11:45 AM:

It doesn't really matter if it's reasonable or not as a VP pick.

The argument is between the folks who want to make decisions based on rules of social propriety and folks who want to make decisions based on the results of measurements. Pretty much everything else is noise.

Very few people on either side are willing to consider fundamentally changing how they conduct their lives.

Getting tangled up in arguing about the rules of social propriety is inherently divisive (we don't all come from the same social background/culture!) and it is of its nature a net win for the "decisions on rules of social propriety" group, because it is proportionately more likely to depress or disgust those on the measurement side.

The effective category of response from the "decisions from measurement" side to go find things (like deficit per-capita and tax burden per capita in Wasila) to measure.

The corporate media is pretty much completely, and pretty much inherently, in the "decisions by social propriety" camp; this cannot be changed. So it's really not either here nor there what they say; they're going to say whatever they think most benefits the Republican. Nothing can change this except temporarily, if they're faced with a threat of looking so ridiculous as to lose social position.

#106 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 11:56 AM:

Paula Lieberman @ 101... If I may steal someone else's joke...

"Mr. Chambers... Mr. Chambers, the first page is just a collection of English words with their own translation. But the rest of the book... the rest of the book - To Serve Man... It's a tennisbook!"

#107 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 12:02 PM:

Jen #102:

Thanks! That's a nice link, and it seems to contradict a bunch of stuff I've seen claimed, like Palin being opposed to contraception.

#108 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 12:04 PM:

Matt McIrvin #79: Of course all the people working with communities in Appalachia, or all white rural communities in the deep South or Midwest, are completely invisible!

#109 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 12:06 PM:

Actually, I've been wondering about something, and maybe those posters who visit here from Alaska can clarify it for me.

Way back when George W. was first running for President, one of the arguments in favor of his "executive experience" was that he'd been Chief Executive of a Big State. Then came an article by Molly Ivins (I think) pointing out that Texas has a "weak governor" system, so running the state of Texas was in no way analogous to running the country. I no longer remember the details, but the column and subsequent discussions left me with the realization that the word "governor" does not mean the same thing in all state governments--that sometimes the governor has great power and responsibility, and sometimes all he/she does is schmooze the legislature (or something like that).

So what I'm wondering is, how would Alaskans describe the system in Alaska? Is the governor of Alaska the equivalent of the governor of Texas (with more land-mass and a smaller population) or the governor of Illinois? Or what?

I hasten to add that the information won't change my vote or my opinion of Palin's experience, really; I'm just curious. Thanks!

#110 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 12:09 PM:

Cat Meadors #83: Help the wrong sort of people get jobs? How horrible!

#111 ::: Chris Quinones ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 12:13 PM:

I thought Palin handled her spokesmodel duties well enough.

Interesting that the GOP is fronting itself as the Mommy Party at the moment, after tarring the Democrats with that brush for so long.

Anyone here see the film To Die For? I only read the book. But Palin reminds me of Nicole Kidman's character. Too bad it wasn't a bigger box office success, or it could be a valuable point of reference.

#112 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 12:14 PM:

Paula Lieberman #90; Jonestown, not Jonesville.

#113 ::: Constance ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 12:17 PM:

The cain campaign has officially stated that this election is NOT about ISSUES. It's about narrative.

Their narrative is that here are 2 mavericks who are D.C. outsiders coming in to clean up the dem stygian mess of Big Gummit, earmarks and liberal media. They will succeed because it is Gawd's will, and the sign that this is Gawd's Will is because they have the Gawddess of Alaska running, and it is Gawd's Will that the new 'Laska Pipeline Be Built and thus it is also Gawd's Will to drilldrilldrill, especially in the ANWR. And so the Gawdess will Save America by laughing at Climate Change That Isn't Your Fault. Besides since she is a Gawddess she can clean up anything, and if it won't clean she'll shoot it with her great big gun while flashing her (Indiana Delgate Buttons stated this) her Hottest Chick legs. And moreover she's the Madonna with even a surrogate Madonna, her Daughter bearing another child, while she herself is still bearing progeny, and this makes for the happiest families in all the world, which is also, by the way, Gawd's Will, and Gawd has blessed America with His Alaska Gawdess, Who Is Just Like You And Your Family.

She does scare the living daylights out of me. She really scares me. She already makes Thatcher look almost lamb-like, particularly since Thatcher's developed alzheimers.

Love, C.

#114 ::: Constance ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 12:21 PM:

They really aren't going to run on the issues. They have declared the issues off the table.

Therefore the only thing they are running on is her and her family.

Thus she and her family cannot and will not be off the table. THEY put her and her family there, with her full and enthusiastic cooperation.

Go git 'em.

Her speech was so filled with lies last night that there was no truth in it at all. Yet the primary media just let the lies, um, well, lie.

So it is the family issues or nothing. Her fitness as a mother reflecting her fitness to be the Mother of Our Nation. We;ve already seen the shambles in which she left Wasilla.

Love, C.

#115 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 12:29 PM:

My boss and the vast majority of my patients absolutely love Palin and enthusiastically support her. The only bright spot I can find in all this is I'm pretty sure they would all have voted for McCain anyway.

#116 ::: Calliope ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 12:31 PM:

Wow! They are cleaning house on Palin, all right. I'd heard things were being disappeared off the net, but this is the first I've seen it.

The 2006 Eagle Forum Questionaire, (the one where Palin said if the "under God" in the pledge was good enough for the founding fathers, it was good enough for her), does not exist.

http://tinyurl.com/6kwcg8

It's still available through Archive.org. Anybody know how to save a page from there? I tried and it didn't work.

#117 ::: Jen Roth ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 12:39 PM:

Calliope: I saved it as a PDF. I can email it to you if you want.

#118 ::: Constance ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 12:41 PM:

They've been scrubbing since the announcement. YouTube is the only place to find her sermon's about God's Will and ANWR and the pipeline, her pastor's crazy stuff about the Jews and the Rapture and oil. Unless people have captured these things they got scrubbed.

BTW Ed Schultz is doing his TownHall today from Alaska, with Alaska residents telling you what they think.

Love, C.

#119 ::: Sten ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 12:41 PM:

One thing that's absent from the Palin debate, is a discussion over the rise of the Feminine Right.

Hate them for their politics, sure, but it's a sign of gender equity success that women are active and powerful in organizations and institutions normally regarded as, "Good Old Boy."

Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin are just the most visible tip of the iceberg. And the most annoying.

Palin now presents herself as a more sensible, more effective rallying point for feminists who don't like calling themselves feminist. Women who, for whatever reasons, can't adhere to orthodox feminism on account of religious belief, upbringing, feelings about abortion, etc.

I remember when MTV VJ Kennedy outted herself as a Republican. I don't know if she stuck to the party, but it seemed remarkable to me then that younger women were gradually branching away from orthodox feminism and seeking empowerment in unconventional ways, and moving with unconventional travelers.

For some, this makes the new Women of the Right traitors. They carry water for the sexist pigs of the conservative side while walking on the backs of the womens rights crusaders who have been largely Left since at least the 1950's.

But consider a Republican party with Palin at the helm. Consider the changes that will have necessarily occurred to make it happen. I don't think Palin is a token. Even if she loses there are already people talking about picking her up in 2012 and running her with Romney or, more probably, Bobby Jindal. Is this not a sign of overall progress? That even the "enemy of progress" has itself progressed to the point that a woman VP is not only chosen, but wildly lauded by the base?

I remember a few years back, sex columnist Dan Savage swore he'd join the Republican party, if only to change it from within.

The rise of The Palin (to coin a phrase) would seem to indicate that the Republicans are not an exclusive boys club anymore; and care more about policy than they do about gender, or race. Which was sorta the whole point of feminism to begin with: to remove gender from discussion and allow women to rise (or fall) based strictly on merit; just like the boys.

Whatever the case, I always think the traitor label is somewhat obscene. Just as it was obscene for Condi Rice to be called "unauthentic" as an African American woman just because she works for a Republican boss.

Are gender and race now purely political concepts?

I think not. But a lot of the language being used against Palin seems to say, yes. They are.

Which seems preposterous to me.

#120 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 12:45 PM:

#107 albatross

The reason why school have sex education classes is because of parents/guardians who don't provide comprehensive sex education information to their kids. If the kids' parents/guardian all provided the the children with the relevant information in a competent way, the schools wouldn't have been forced to have those classes in the first place!

The simple bottom line is that kids were having bad outcomes (unwanted pregnancies and high rates of syphillis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, etc. ) from a lack of accurate information, including in a lot of cases, how pregnancy occurs, and how syphillis etc. get transmitted.

There were health epidemics going on, and not only kids, but adults, had been kept "innocent" and ignorant, and suffered majorly from it.

A friend of mine is the granddaugher of one of the women who a century ago or early on in the 20th century in the 1900s, was a female public helth service MD on the front lines of dealing with sexually transmitted disease epidemics in the Midwest--young married women got accused by their husbands of adultery and transmitting syphillis or gonorrhea to the husbands, when the disease transmission mode was the husbands patronizing prostitutes and passing the diseases onto their clueless, had-been-kept-ignorant wives!

Attitudes in the USA started mutated, and the public health service started protocols that stayed in force until they got axed by that senile mouthpiece Reagan, of contact-tracing confidentially and not demonizing people for sexual activity, and promoting the use of condoms as prophylactics... the use of them for pregnancy prevention was to a degree coincident, both outcomes, a reduction in the rates of disease transmission, and a reduction in unplanned pregnancies, were socially important goals (except to the "the wages of sin [sex] are death and/or babies!" brigade--which Gov Palin seems to belong to....].

Again, sex education exists in the school systems because of parental/guardian failure to provide "the facts of life" and consequences, information about pregnancy and disease transmission prevention, to the children they are supposed to be responsible for... with the results being Society getting stuck with "babies bearing babies" and all the healthcare probems and expenses of dealing with syphillis/gonorrhea/chlamdyia/non-specific-urethritis/HPV/cervical cancer/HIV/herpes epidemics... (the last ones more recent issues... and Reagan's eradication of the old protocols when HIV/AIDS started appearing, are responsible for massive misery and death. Yes, HIV wouldn;t hve gone away but it would have been containable, it got to the USA from ONE male flight attendant, had he been identified and contact-traced and treated as Typhoid Mary instead of the whole thing villified and demonized and ignored by Presidential fiat as a health menace and instead regarded as a earned extermination for abomination (homosexuality and male-male relations), the spread of the disease would have been much slower, to the degree that it again, could/SHOULD have been contained--identifying the contacts and identifying them as unacceptable for providing blood etc., and not demonizing them and driving them into secrecy about their condition, and providing health services and allowing them incomes, would have gone a long way toward stopping the spread of HIV all those years ago.

Palin isn;t interested though in the physical well-being and the suppression of those sorts of diseases, she'd rather apparently have HIV and herpes and syphillis and gonorrhea etc. epidemics than any public information given to the population by any government agency about condoms as helping prevent the spread of disease.... for that matter, the official Republican Party plank is of that de facto view, better to suffer from syphillis and/or gonorrhea and/or chlamydia and/or NSU and/or cervical cancer, than mention the words "condom" and "prophylactic" and "prevention of disease transmission" in venue receiving any public funding.

#121 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 12:46 PM:

I thought about starting a comparison list of the candidate's positions and actions.... while tabular formats are best for both creating such a comparison and absorbing the material, that's not something that's implemented with relatively plain text.... it's one of the things about computer word processing that annoyed me, that tables capability was considered such a low priority by so many word processor and deskt top publishing implementers... I use them as an information generation and creation tool, not just as a human-comprehensible information presentation tool.

Marital status and family:

Sen Obama:
Married (how long?), in his first and only marriage, young children.
Background of Michelle Obama??

Religion: evangelical Protestant, regular churchgoer

Reproductive rights position: Has been airing ads apparently [I haven;t seen them] regarding Republicans denying women reproductive choice.

Foreign relations experience:
First term US Senator

Legislative experience:
Legislative experience in Illinois legislature of [x number of years]
Senator with X number of years in US Senate

Military:
No military service
Participates as Senate in discussions and legislation regarding the military


Sen McCain: Married to his second wife, after an adulterous affair while married to his first wife. Divorced crippled first wife, after affairs including especially the one with his second wife. Children by his first wife, second wife, and adopted children.

First wife background?
Second wife background: Sole heiress to $100 million fortune based on alcoholic beverage distribution monopoly in the southwest USA. Half0-siblings she denies the existence of, who inherited none of the parental fortune. Executive in the distribution company but do no apparent actual work in the business.
No whiff of scandal/unwed pregnancy involved with any of the children.

Religion: ?

Reproductive rights position: Opposes abortion except for rape, incest, and life-endangering pregnancy. Opposed to sex education other than abstinence promotion. [voting record?]

Foreign relations experience:
Many term US Senator

Legislative experience:
Many term US Senator

Military:
Military veteran; POW during Vietnam at the Hanoi Hilton
Participates as Senate in discussions and legislation regarding the military


Sen Biden: Second marriage, after being widowed and raising his motherless children as a single parent until the second marriage. Children from both marriages. Commuted and commutes to and from Washington to be home with family. No whiff of scandal regarding children. One of the sons in the military sent to war zone. One son a state Attorney General.

Wives' background?

Religion: Roman Catholic

Reproductive rights position: Abortion opponent [otherwise, regarding birth control???]

Legislative experience:
Many term US Senator

Military experience:
None?
Participates as Senate in discussions and legislation regarding the military

Gov Palin: Eloped with her high school sweetheart after college, and first child born eight months after the wedding. First and only marriage, five children, fifth is developmentally delayed. Espouses narrow doctrine of abstinence only and no birth control, but her 17 year old daughter did not practice the mother's doctrine and is several months along in pregnancy. Marriage of the daughter to the reputed father o the fetus to apparently occur sometime before the expected due date. One son in military being sent to war zone.

Religion: evangelical Christian

Reproductive rights position: Opposed to abortion except for life-threatening pregnancies. Opposed to any form of birth control which isn't abstinence. Opposes funding of any sex education than abstinence promotion. Cut funding in Alaska for sheltering women who needed shelter, particularly those who were pregnant and indigent.

Legislative experience:
Has never been a legislator
Has had time as town council member?
Has worked with legislators as mayor of small population community, and as Governor of a low popultion state (reputedly highly adversarial relationship with the legislators, however)

#122 ::: cgeye ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 12:46 PM:

Um, there was a leak of Noonan's comments?

So, who was fired?

If they were really upset about the open mike, someone would be fired by now. It's not as if MSNBC's so stable that such a firing would be unheard of. In fact, due to FOX's encouragement, MSNBC's being depicted as a basket of rabid weasels.

They wanted this disinfo out, to draw out those in the party who would be disloyal. Then start chopping heads.

The one thing the GOP is known for? Party unity.

This is how they get it.

#124 ::: Calliope ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 12:57 PM:

Thanks, Jen! Uh, how do we go about this?

#125 ::: Constance ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 01:02 PM:

One of the reasons she terrifies me is her followers. This is demagogery, focused to get the crowd bloodlust up to the level of lynching. There was booing in that crowd and howling, just out-and-out howling, howling for violence.

There was NOTHING like this at Obama's convention and speeches. People were roused, but they didn't howl and boo, they cheered.

We're there, in one of those states now that we've read so much about in history and fiction.

The only person out of Her People that doesn't adore SP, is probably Ann Coulter. She's been dethroned and displaced as the sexy water carrier, and by someone who has real power, not loaned power, as part of the ruling establishment, not the court jester.

Love, C.

#126 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 01:10 PM:

#119 Sten

Phyllis Shlafly has been a Republic right wing extremist mouthpiece for decades. She has had a limited number of proteges including Elaine Donnelly whom I have a special high detestation for, Donnelly being a sort of appointed and annointed Queen Bee's Heir Princess.

That is, Shlafly is a Queen Bee who has groomed at least one Princess as assistant and heir apparent to her Queen Bee position.

A question I have about Palin is, has she mentored/provided protegeship to women generally, has she sponsored carefully selected handpicked Queen Bee heirs for herself, or has she provided mentorship to multiple women and not as Queen Bee exceptions... the structure involves women as worker bees with males in charge. Shlafley and Beverly LaHaye are to a limited degree exceptions in having roles in more or less their own rights... LaHaye apparently got her allowance to run her pressure group (which I think when she stepped down from, the head head of was male, Concerned Women of America...

Part of the time I was stationed in Cheyenne Mountain, Chappie James was the head of NORAD d the United States Air Defense Command. He was a big, darkskinned man, and his entourage included other men with dark skin, along with men whose skin color was Caucasian. His chief aide was a colonel who had dark skin, for example--he extended protegeship to people based apparently on ability, but he also made sure that that opportunities got extended to people with dark skin color, when the US military mostly had lots of Caucasian-skin-color people still around who were discriminating against people who didn;t look like them.

I mention that because my question, again, is how does Palin treat other women, has she acted and mentor and enabler to bring other women into government positions, or is she like Shlafley carefully bringing only a limited number of women, if any, in, lest they pose a challenge to her primacy in the sphere?

The example of the Southern Baptist Convention applies--there are women with power such as Beverly LaHaye and Schlafley, but they don;t have official positions as religious officials, they've got in essence official adjunct women's auxillary positions, allowed the status by men whom the offical credo stipulates are the "lords and masters and women are submissive to them" as special exceptions. Look at the hierarchy of the Southern Baptist Convention and the men rule it, women in prominent top management roles, are the exceptions, and women at the scut level appartchik hard dedicated worker and no policy development positions and no voice but parroting the talking points and implementing them, are the rule.

So, what is Palin's track record on placing women, and particularly ones who aren't foils of Palin, into state government in Alaska?

#127 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 01:13 PM:

Paula #121:

You've said Palin is opposed to birth control other than abstinence. Do you have a reference for this? Is she opposed to having birth control be legal, opposed on moral grounds to its use but not its being legal, or some other thing? (I'm Catholic, my church is formally opposed to birth control on moral grounds, but I (like essentially all American Catholics) both disagree with and pay little attention to this teaching.)

#128 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 01:17 PM:

Sten @ 72: the point where Barack Obama sealed the deal with me was when I was watching a live broadcast of one of his speeches this spring. He was at the Coliseum, oops, "Key Arena" and a woman in the middle of the front section lost consciousness. He saw what happened, and for about four minutes- until the site EMTs got to her- he first asked for the EMTs to be called, and then directed the people around her to do appropriate first aide and the ones between her and the aisle to move so that the stretcher could come in, and was watching her while he spoke, noticed when she came to, spoke to her while she was being loaded on the stretcher.

It was the sort of verbal behavior I've seen from people practiced in dealing with the fragile elderly, and I suppose came from the "community organizer" part of his resume (most of the community organizers I've been around since the Johnson Administration have worked with either the elderly or disabled; the Senior Centers people around here have come to take for granted are a fruit of community organization). He was calm, respectful, as helpful as someone can be when they're standing on an eight-foot riser with one entrance which would put him a hundred feet away from the action. He did what he could, from where he stood, and was, apparently, useful. And then he went back to his speech from where he was interrupted.

There's "autopilot" and then there's intelligent, mindful, and aware of one's surroundings; the latter is rare enough that it's good to see it when it happens.

#129 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 01:19 PM:

The embarrassing Chuck Todd/Peggy Noonan/Michael Murphy open-mike video, now with helpful subtitles.

#130 ::: Will Entrekin ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 01:24 PM:

"God damn it, people, we're better than this."

Right. Because being better helped us out so much in the past two elections. Two of our best and most respected candidates couldn't beat their worst, and the guy now running Right isn't even that bad (like any sequel, he's simply a regurgitation of the original, only weaker [obvious exception to The Empire Strikes Back]).

@Sten (119): I don't know; it still seems likely that McCain chose Palin solely because she wears skirts, and not for any of her policies. He's know for saying he makes decisions faster than the other guy, so it's not as if he's claiming he chose her for the subtle nuances of her execution of policy. When's he's claiming she has foreign policy experience because Alaska is, like, close to Russia? Seems absurd to me.

#131 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 01:28 PM:

Will Entrekin @ 130... being better helped us out so much in the past two elections

I'd rather not stop being better than them.

#132 ::: Kathryn Cramer ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 01:39 PM:

My take on the little men behind the curtain is that they are desperate men with little insight into the dynamics of women's opinions. I've discussed the general McPalin culture war theme at some length on my blog in McPalin Culture Wars Round-Up. But a couple of things I didn't get into: I think that the reason that to McCain's handlers it seems plausible that she could actually serve as VP with such a complicated family life is that her intended function is to help get McCain elected in the first place; perhaps they think she can be VP on the Dan Quayle plan.

One thing I don't understand about the Palin psychodrama is why she had amniocentisis. The procedure has a non-trivial miscarriage rate (1 in 100??). I had a failed amnio with my second child; the OB wanted to have me come back the next week so that they could try again and I said NO because it is a risky test. If for Palin having an abortion was completely out of the question, why the amnio? Doing it purely for informational purposes makes no sense.

#133 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 01:45 PM:

Re the silly 5th child rumors/stuff.

One thing that I haven't seen mentioned is that Downs Syndrome ( and the other chromosomal abnormalities, like the various other trisomy issues) are strongly correlated with 'advanced maternal age' as the medical profession puts it.

Under 35, there's a tiny chance of that class of problem, but once you hit 40, it's something dramatic like 1 in 4.

Takeaway -- it's not a disease of teenage mothers.

#134 ::: Kathryn Cramer ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 01:46 PM:

#22: regarding the RNC campaign booing on cue. Yeah. That was weird. It seemed so unnatural when I was listening to her speech this morning that I replayed that bit to try to understand whether I'd missed something she'd said. I hadn't.

#135 ::: Randolph ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 01:54 PM:

Calliope, #116: I saved it out of Google's cache and I've sent you a PDF; as long as the spam trap doesn't grab it, you'll get it soon.

Sten, #119: Three women provided the social basis for libertarian ideology: Ayn Rand, Isabel Patterson, and Rose Wilder Lane, so there's history here. The problem, of course, is that the movements they influence--in some cases lead--invariably become intensely patriarchal in the next generation.

Paula Lieberman, #120: I think the whole idea of sex education in the home is unrealistic; it becomes entangled with family-system dynamics. BTW, Sen. Biden also supports contraception; he has, however, voted to ban intact dilation and extraction.

tnh, #80: "The McCain-Palin campaign is using the ambiguity to their advantage, even though it means Bristol Palin gets dragged through a cubic mile of sht. The person doing the dragging is Bristol's own mother. It may be the ugliest episode I've ever seen in a political campaign." I half-agree. Certainly this has been discussed to disgust, and there's plenty more to talk about. At the same time I see Palin's treatment of her daughter as a gross abuse of power and an indication that she will probably be more cruel and destructive than W. Bush, should she ever come to high office, and in that way is relevant. I am surprised that I have not seen anyone else remark on this. I entirely agree with Paula's revulsion, though my reaction is less visceral.

This remark that got so much applause, "What's the difference between a pit bull and a soccer mom? Lipstick!" bespeaks something very sick. A fighting pit bull--not just an animal with the color and the jaws--has a neurological disorder that leads to aggression. A comparable disorder in humans is violent criminality. I suspect Palin, being Alaskan and living with a dog racer, is aware of this; I suspect most of the audience who laughed was not. It sounds very much like she is telegraphing a threat.

#136 ::: Jen Roth ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 01:56 PM:

Eric: once you hit 40, it's something dramatic like 1 in 4.

I think it's about 1 in 20, but yes. Most Down Syndrome children are born to younger mothers, just because the overwhelming majority of births are to women younger than 40, but the chances that an older woman will have a child with DS are much higher.

Kathryn: I could see having an amnio if there was a significant chance that the child had life-threatening health problems that could be dealt with in utero, or that a medical team would need to be aware of at the birth. The potential benefit to the child might outweigh the risk in that situation.

#137 ::: cgeye ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 01:56 PM:

"The rise of The Palin (to coin a phrase) would seem to indicate that the Republicans are not an exclusive boys club anymore; and care more about policy than they do about gender, or race. Which was sorta the whole point of feminism to begin with: to remove gender from discussion and allow women to rise (or fall) based strictly on merit; just like the boys."

Um, bullshit.

There are always spokesmodels for unpopular causes that exist solely to defuse accusations of racism and sexism in their actual policies. Sec. Rice is an evil person because she championed the invasion of Iraq and most likely had a hand in destablizing Russia through Georgia; her ethnicity and gender distract her critics, because they think that if a person belongs to an underpowered group, he or she should identify with that group to support social justice efforts.

Do I have to skip over Godwin's Law to discuss the role of the kapos in concentration camps? Or trustees in prisons? They are seen as betrayers, even though they are in league with the government. Why do you think 'stop snitching' is a powerful meme in the hood, or its counterpart, 'the blue wall of silence' protects cops from whistleblowers from within? Because the idea of betrayal of the group is more powerful than the reason such betrayals take place.

Palin and Rice are traitors to the movements that gave them the reach to acquire power through their betrayals. Their bodies are pretty enough for us (or similar to those we know as belonging to good, justice-minded people) to overlook their evil.

#138 ::: Chris Quinones ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 01:59 PM:

Something curious:

Check out the comments on this CNN report. They seem to have been reopened mere minutes ago, and the handful of new comments are largely pro-Palin, but the earlier comments I saw were overwhelmingly negative.

Please note - this comment thread had been closed until very recently, it seems to have been reopened now, the newest comments show a much higher favorable-to-unfavorable ratio than the earlier ones, and the bottom of the comment thread has a note that still says, "This story is no longer available for comments, though you may read comments that were posted previously." Very odd.

#139 ::: Jen Roth ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 02:08 PM:

Interesting, Chris. Looks like a lot of people are working hard for their McCain Points today.

Re: pit bulls: Four years ago, I was out canvassing for Kerry/Edwards in a neighborhood in Columbus that seemed to have an ordinance requiring the ownership of dogs. Everybody had them, all kinds, from tiny little yappy dogs to big loud defenders of the household. At one home I went to, two big puppies were playing on the porch with the owner's small children. I admired the dogs and asked what breed they were. "Pit bull," the owner replied. Seeing my surprise, she smiled and said hers were great dogs, and "It's all in how you raise them." I noticed that one of her children was wearing a Kerry/Edwards T-shirt. How you raise them, indeed.

#140 ::: Kathryn Cramer ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 02:14 PM:

#136 I could see having an amnio if there was a significant chance that the child had life-threatening health problems that could be dealt with in utero, or that a medical team would need to be aware of at the birth. The potential benefit to the child might outweigh the risk in that situation.

Ballpark risk of 1 in 100 of a spontaneous abortion is a pretty big risk to take for that kind of speculative benefit. Maybe Palin just doesn't know what the stats mean; some people have a hard time with statistics.

#141 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 02:15 PM:

Will Etrenkin @130:

The one thing you can't give for your heart's desire is your heart.

The one thing I will not give for a decent nation is my decency. If I seek a united country that uses compromise and consensus rather than constant strife, I can't get there by fomenting more strife.

I don't want to live in a nation built the way the Republicans are building nations these days. So I won't lend my hand or my voice to it, no matter what. Because if we do what they do, we become them; these tactics corrupt people and parties alike.

#142 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 02:24 PM:

Constance @113 - wow. Succinct. Dead on; that speaks to my inner Hoosier.

Fascinating how, now that the GOP has demonstrated their thorough wrongness on issues, they have just explicitly switched to running on ... I don't have the right words ... cultural imagery. They're explicitly tribal now.

That can't bode well for America.

#143 ::: Kathryn Cramer ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 02:26 PM:

Interesting comment about the amnio in the comment section of the article I linked to:

FromAlaska at 04:03 AM - September 04, 2008
I am in Wasilla, and Pregnant Moms of her age are required to have the testing. What makes you think she THOUGHT about having an abortion? Something that you may not think of in the Lower 48 states, In Alaska, IF you have a baby with Downs Syndrome, and IF your baby has heart defects that are common with the syndrome, we do NOT have access to the same level of care that one would find in your states. So, by having knowledge of a heart defect, you can best plan for the birth of your baby, in the location that can best care for your special needs baby, Washington State. It is not only a test done to determine if your baby is perfect, because you would not want to "keep" an unperfect baby. After having a low triple screen, I chose not to have an amnio, and had extensive ultrasounds. Well, guess what, my baby boy was stillborn. If I had known for sure that he had downs syndrome, he would have been monitored much more closely, and could have had a chance.
Anyone know if there is any truth to this kind of geo-situational reasoning? Are Alaskans who would never intentionally consent to an abortion under any circumstances sustaining a 1% amnio-induced miscarriage rate because of the lack of adequate medical care in Alaska?

#144 ::: Sten ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 02:26 PM:

cgeye,

It would seem to me that any movement to emancipate any group from oppression, must realize at its outset that once said group attains sufficient liberty, that group will diversify to the point that allegiance to the original movement might be set aside or even forgotten by the beneficiaries.

Thus the advent of conservative women, conservative African Americans, etc.

In a weird sort of way, I liken it to raising kids. You can only demand so much from them, in terms of choices, before you overstep your bounds. Once emancipated, children are free to choose their own paths, and it's not really fair to demand they adhere to your way of thinking or believing simply because you raised and provided for them when they were too little and inexperienced to provide for themselves.

Sooner or later, they go their own way, whether you like it or not. And is it your place, as the parent, to declare their choices as "bad" if they contradict your own?

I think of anti-abortion feminists at a time like this. They might agree with orthodox feminism on aspects of the economy, schooling, healthcare, etc, but because of religious (usually) or moral reasons they cannot accept on-demand abortion as either a moral or ethical avenue for women to take. And thus they oppose abortion, and are largely shunned by mainstream feminism for breaking with orthodoxy on that single, very important subject.

I think Palin is a move by the GOP to tap into that excluded periphery of women who, while traditionally feminist on some issues, find themselves on the outside and looked down upon due to one or more doctrinal differences with the core beliefs of feminist academic theory.

My wife, the womens studies graduate, and I have talked about this quite a bit. She admits to being conflicted and seeing the validity in both sides of the debate. We tend to agree that the "traitor" label is actually more damaging to mainstream feminism than the various peripheral types its applied to because it smacks too much of rigidity and conformity when 21st century feminism stakes a lot on the idea of tollerance: for people, for ideas, for difference.

Anyway, they said the advent of Obama was a watershed for racial discussion.

Seems Palin might warrant a watershed on gender discussion?

#145 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 02:34 PM:

albatross #122

Palin promotes state-mandated abstinence teaching as "education." To be tacky, that's as useful and functional as tits on a billygoat.

There is information on the Internet about the church she goes to, and it is not an ecumenical one. The relevance of me mentioning her as congregant is that the information that I've read about that congregation is that its community values apparently include the concept that anyone who isn't a Christian doesn't really count as worthwhile human life (there seems to be anti-Semitism, for example...) That in turn translates to disrespect and lack of tolerance for any other religious/moral/ethical/sexual responsibility codes and values, and respect for other's beliefs and values.

And that lack of respect, translates to making "public" schools sectarian.

My own views are that if someone truly is of Faith and inculcates their child to have that Faith, and the Faith is one that is true for them, then mentioning ways that others take, isn't going to cause the Faithful to stray. If the Faith is so weak or so lacking in appeal/cogency/relevance to the parents and children than mention of any other Way causes straying.... that does NOT say positive things about the Faith/supposed-to-be-Faithful relationship. If someone is false to the values, are the values false, is the person imperfect, or is there a mismatch between the values and the person?

But Palin denies that others have values and Faiths that are different from hers that deserve respect.

She's de facto anti-birth control, because she wants a universal gag order about it applied in public education as opposed to sectarian teaching....

I knew a LOT more about birth control than sex when I was in high school, because I read general science magazines. Being aware of IUDs etc. did NOT cause me to go out and get one and have sex in high school--I did NOT engage in the activities in high school which impregnated Gov Palin's daughter--oh, wow, does that make me Morally Superior to Gov Palin's daughter? Pfeh....

I think it's highly unfortunate that Gov Palin's daughter is a pregnant minor. I don't think ill of the daughter for it, I think that it's unfortunate etc., but I don't regard her as Fallen Woman/bad person/etc. etc. etc.

Her MOTHER, on the other hand, is a different issue. I regard Gov Palin as a vicious Privileged hypocrite, among other noxious things.

=============

Censorship that gag-orders or blocks access to information, is the same thing as being against that information and procedures etc. described.

#146 ::: Sten ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 02:36 PM:

Paula @ #126,

That's a good point, really. How much has Palin invested in "the next generation" so to speak, and how much of it has simply been 'about her', alone?

I personally have always thought we needed more women in government, period. That our congress and senate continues to be mostly-male seems altogether at odds with a national gender average that shows women in the majority. Clearly, our representation is incomplete.

But I would like to think qualifications come before gender.

Which is a sticky point for Palin. Who is young and fresh and without much experience.

Which is, of course, Obama's problem too.

In some ways, the identity politics that have dominated this election have reach full circle, when you have Republicans picking a woman VP candidate strictly for her identity appeal; something Obama has exploited heavily and which was liable to doom McCain without some kind of significant shake-up on McCain's part.

#147 ::: Kathryn Cramer ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 02:40 PM:

Regarding the matter of the booing that seemed to be on cue, I was just reviewing her speech. There is a moment 5 minutes in where the crowd chants USA USA after she calls for support for soldiers in uniform. It's pretty clear that that is on cue. Presumably the booing at mentions of the press treatment she's received was also cued.

#148 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 02:45 PM:

abi @ 141...

"Why Richard, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world... but for Wales?"

#149 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 02:49 PM:

It looks like either people have figured out a way to bypass the "This story is no longer available for comments" status on the CNN story or else perhaps there is a backlog of manually moderated comments that are still being processed and still coming through one or a few at a time.

#150 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 02:54 PM:

#145 myself...

Censorship that gag-orders or blocks access to information, is the same thing as being against that information and procedures etc. described.

Foot-extraction time.... there is the issue of "classifying" material and the reasons for classifying it--restricting access to some stuff gets based on e.g. training to deal with certain types of equipment and the intent one has and the trust to be placed in the person not to abuse the data and equipment access... a number of states restrict gun ownership to people based on having to pass criteria demonstrating competence and judgment and maturity. Driving cars and trucks is restricted based on passing tests demonstrating competence.

Regarding birth control, there is something of an inversion--a driver's license gives one the legal privilege of piloting an automotive land vehicle of the class(es) listed on the license, above. In the case of birth control, the equipment for recreational/reproduction sexual congress is already present on the person, what condoms/IUDs/diaphrams/hormonal pills/etc do, is not prevent sexual congress, but impede the processes of sperm-wriggles-its-way-to-egg- fertilizes-egg-and- fertilized-egg-implants-in-uterus. Some of the "barrier methods and/or spermicides also deter disease transmission by physical barrier and/or chemical lethality.

(and me posting this stuff gets the page nanny-filtered.... censorship.... )

One might make an argument that birth control information is publically desirable because competent employment thereof, drops the rate of unwanted pregnancies and the disease transmission rate, which are highly desirable public health and expenditure goals! The social and economic costs/harm from syphillis etc. and inconvenient/unwanted pregnancies can get extremely high.

#151 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 02:59 PM:

albatross @127: She's a member of Feminists For Life, which is a group that proclaims itself as being "pro-woman", but refuses to make a statement regarding the use of contraception. When someone did some digging around on DailyKos, they found a link to their site that indicated they have an opposition to contraception, but don't seem to make it public.

#152 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 03:10 PM:

#146 Sten

Sen Clinton is a veteran federal presidential campaigner, was in the White House as wife of the President for eight years, in a statehouse as wife of a governor, and is a veteran legal practitioner and political player. She's paid a lot of dues, has worked extensively on legislation, has a national standing and visibility.

Former Rep. Ferraro was a veteran member of Congress when tapped for Democratic VP nominee years ago.

Gov Palin is Female Object with checkoffs for the gun lobby, the petroleum industry, the steelworker's union at the surface level, the abstinence lobby, the antiabortion lobby, the Jes' a Housewife and Mommy! mythical American Nuclear Family compliance, and a minimum of actual experience shined-up patina spun to be a "Reformer."

There are women in the US House and Senate who are Republicans with long and honorable records of service, who were passed over completely to get someone with the checkoffs.

She look like even more of a willing tool figurehead than the occupant of the Oval Office--but his nickname was never "Sarah Barracuda." There was an opinion piece long ago when he first ran for President saying that his most prominent characteristic when in prep school was his stubbornness in whatever sport it was he played--he was academically a Gentleman's C scholar, he was an amiable fellow, but what he had was dogged determinating stubbornness with which he outlasted everyone else. Barracudas are more vicious and openly aggressive and combative.

Meanwhile... what's McCain;s health like these days?

#153 ::: Lance Weber ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 03:11 PM:

I just realized Palin scores about 9.6/10 on my Nehemiah Scudder For President checklist and she'd stand a pretty good chance of getting that promotion in a McCain administration.

#154 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 03:15 PM:

Bah a line disappeared from #152, regarding Sen Clinton being in what, her second elected term as a senator from New York?

#155 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 03:27 PM:

Earl Cooley III @81: Thanks for catching that. I really hate it when I 'typo' someone's name!

#156 ::: dolloch ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 03:31 PM:

It seems like it would behoove the DNC to de-(-mystify? -semble?) all of the buzzword memes as soon as they can, but in a way that supports the original idea in the first place. Something like:

Motherhood is an incredible job. The rule of motherhood (AWAKB) is, by necessity, a benevolent dictatorship. America, however is a democracy and the American public is not a child. Motherhood does not qualify one to lead our nation.

Is this seen as being beneath the Dems in some way?

#157 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 03:44 PM:

Seith Sten:

I think Palin is a move by the GOP to tap into that excluded periphery of women who, while traditionally feminist on some issues, find themselves on the outside and looked down upon due to one or more doctrinal differences with the core beliefs of feminist academic theory.
Could someone please explain to Sten that 1. the existence of some identifiable body of "core beliefs of feminist academic theory" falls somewhere between "dubious" and "notional", and that (2.) the idea that feminists look down on women in traditional roles due to their failure to adhere to the largely mythic "core beliefs of feminist academic theory" has very little basis in reality? It's a fib promulgated by the Mighty Right-Wing Wurlitzer, which wants to keep politicized feminists and vernacular feminists from making common cause.

I'd explain at greater length, but I simply don't have time. If you think Making Light's threads are in an uproar, you should see ... no, you shouldn't.

Pray, continue as you were.

#158 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 03:53 PM:

dolloch @ 156: Every parental unit here is going to think what I just did: we don't want Sarah Palin standing in front of the US public going "Because I said so, that's why! Now go to your room!".


#159 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 04:05 PM:

Has anyone analyzed Palin's religious affiliation in any detail? Is she an apocalypse is good gimme the nuclear football kind of person?

#160 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 04:05 PM:

Ginger: Certainly not. The current administration uses somewhat more obfuscation when they say things like that.

#161 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 04:08 PM:

Earl Cooley III: She's scary. Her pastor thinks Alaska needs to extract all the oil so the godless won't come to steal it after the rapture.

#162 ::: Chris Quinones ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 04:11 PM:

Earl, 159: On that subject, her denomination is Pentacostal in orientation. I vaguely recall that the Southern Baptists and Pentecostals don't get along real well. Can anyone confirm this?

#163 ::: Emma ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 04:12 PM:

Sten, I am both a feminist and an academic (if 25 years as a librarian and manager in academic libraries count), and I can tell you with absolutely certainty that there are no "core beliefs of feminist academic theory". There are "theories" ranging from the logical to the loony, and the infighting among proponents is as vicious as that among economists or cosmologists.

Me? My feminist ideal is Molly Ivins. Beer-drinking, country-music loving, down-home Texan. And if you want to see a REAL feminist deal with an academic pretender, go to the Mother Jones Archives and find 'I am the Cosmos."

#164 ::: John L ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 04:14 PM:

I just can't get past the fact that McCain can tell interviewers that Palin was the best candidate available for VP. There's at least 3 or 4 Republican women with far better credentials than Palin, and now McCain's recent statements that Palin has foreign affairs experience because she's Governor of Alaska (and we all know Alaska borders Russia!) just sound like someone making stupid statements because someone told him to do so. That, or he's starting a downward slide into senility even before becoming President.

#165 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 04:14 PM:

Joel @ 160: -- but she's a maverick!

#166 ::: Reileen van Kaile ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 04:17 PM:

Earl Cooley III @ 159:

The three recent posts on this DKos blog detail Palin's dominionist connections.

(Hi. I usually lurk in the comments instead of actually posting because I feel like I can never contribute anything useful, but this seems to be a rare chance in which I can provide something useful...)

#167 ::: cgeye ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 04:18 PM:

#144 Sten: In the happy fun place where all the goals of feminism have been achieved, sure, why not conservative women who use the term 'feminist' mostly to deride and distort its principles? Why not applaud black women who'd side with men who'd work with the KKK if it would get them power, and no one would get caught?

(Donna Brazile, I'm talking to you. Making friends with Karl Rove in order to learn how to win is not the same thing as gathering intelligence on people who barely consider you as human.)

But Sten, you surely can't forget that in most of this world women are no better than cattle, because men are no better than cattle, but at least they have a women to punish for their low status. Feminism was supposed to go worldwide; remember? But then it was criticized into irrelevance as classist and racist and ethnocentric, then it was turned into a luxury of marketing when women worldwide just needed help in getting food and shelter; then it was derided in America as part of that icky identity politics; then it was perverted into Girls Gone Wild, sororities where women mostly learn how to drink and screw, and into any number of entertainments where feminism is the straw man, the scapegoat and the stupid way of thinking involving politically incorrect hags.

So, no, I don't give one inch regarding the need for this country and this world to have more, not fewer, feminists in it. And women who use the tropes of feminism to pursue anti-feminist power in organizations that would be happy to see women unemployed and pregnant will never, ever be called feminists by me, and they will never be my idea of progress.

#168 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 04:22 PM:

Sarah E # #55 - Sarah Zombies creep me out. Obama Zombies do too. Candidates are human. Mostly. Avoid reading the comments sections on the ADN and the FDNM sites, it will make you loathe your fellow Alaskans. ::shudder::

Kathryn @ #143 - I had a really long post about how healthcare in Alaska is seriously messed up. Trust me, it is. I can't speak to your question on people risking amnio, and anything I can think of would probably unintentionally/ignorantly sound inflammatory. I'm going to keep quiet.

So all I can say is that healthcare in Alaska is pretty messed up. I work in it, and work in educating/recruiting health care workers.

My favorite comment on her speech in general comes from Adam Kuban's twitter feed

tired of the notion that small town Americans are somehow "real" Americans

I've lived my entire life in small towns and he's completely right about the US vs THEM mentality. We actually spent a good deal of time talking about this subject in my undergrad geography senior seminar class. The core isolated pure heartland and the decadent corrupt trade centers/ports/mixing zones. Inbreeding and Outbreeding.

#169 ::: cgeye ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 04:27 PM:

#144 Sten
And this is precisely why feminists tolerating anti-feminists is bullshit:

"We tend to agree that the "traitor" label is actually more damaging to mainstream feminism than the various peripheral types its applied to because it smacks too much of rigidity and conformity when 21st century feminism stakes a lot on the idea of tollerance: for people, for ideas, for difference."

If one tolerates intolerance, that is allowing the destructive force to take over a constructive force. One has to be against something, or you'll fall for anything. Allowing anti-feminists to game feminism for their anti-female organization is giving power back to people who've always had it, and will let us get a bit of us if we're obedient again.

No, thank you.

And as for Obama creating a watershed on racial discussion -- where the heck did you see that?

He created a watershed on whether he himself could be elected President. Nothing more.

Obama was nominated to *end* racial discussion in America. He wouldn't have passed muster with the people who own this country, otherwise. He's like the head of a business union: He'll keep the peace with his constituents, and they won't ask for much. Everybody's happy, or didn't you notice how he squelched any contrary talk from Jesse Jackson, Sr, John Conyers, John Lewis? And the only thing they did is back the second-place candidate.

#170 ::: Sten ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 04:33 PM:

Teresa,

It seems to me the biggest obstacle between "political" and "vernacular" feminists, is abortion. For better or worse, there is a significant number of women who cannot overlook abortion; either as proponents or as opponents. This issue is the calving point, and Palin, as a political piece, is specifically meant to pull as many of the pro-life women in this country as she can possibly get, over to McCain. Even if they're not firebreathers on the topic.

It's not an altogether absurd notion, given the narrow margins involved in this, yet another heated electoral season where turnout on both sides is liable to be record-level high.

Having personally witnessed how some pro-choice women treat pro-life women, I am not convinced that the RWW (Right Wing Wurlitzer) is the primary culprit. Pro-life feminists get the 'traitor' label a lot and it's weird to see pro-choice women get blisteringly upset at other women because of this single issue, which seems to have gobbled up the entirety of the known female universe like a gargantuan political singularity.

I won't belabor it much because turning this into a thread on abortion and its merits is not my intent.

It will be interesting to see if the Palin gambit proves effective. If a significantly large percentage of women turn out for McCain, it will be implicit support for Palin as the anti-feminist Feminist; and an indicator that female politics in 21st century America are even more complex than either Democratic or Republican strategists suspect.

#171 ::: Sten ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 04:41 PM:

cgeye,

Good points. And very true. The Western womens movement has gone places and morphed into things both monstrous and absurd. Much to the chagrin of its pioneers.

But what, in your personal opinion, qualifies as "Anti-Feminist"?

In a world with polymorphic variations, how do we define "Anti-Feminist"?

#172 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 04:48 PM:

Palin Scrubbing Turns Up an Undeclared Car Wash

Short version: She and her husband each had a 20% share in an Anchorage car wash, which she somehow failed to report (as required) when she ran for governor.

How well did she run it?

The car wash venture was not entirely smooth sailing. State records show the business ran into trouble with Alaska's division of corporations business and professional licensing after Palin became governor of the state in 2006.

A Feb. 11, 2007 letter to the governor's business partner advises that the car wash had "not filed its biennial report and/or paid its biennial fees," which were more than a year overdue

#173 ::: dolloch ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 04:50 PM:

Ginger @ 158

Exactly! If the McCain camp is playing to the positives of a mythical idea of "maverick" or "mother" or whatnot, why not bring up the flip side to the same myth. Maybe then we can get rid of all this mythos and personality politics and get back to issues.

#174 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 05:04 PM:

Ooooh... The matter of brtn has been brought up in this thread. This should lead to interesting exchanges. Depending on one's definition of 'interesting'.

#175 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 05:07 PM:

Serge @174:
This should lead to interesting exchanges. Depending on one's definition of 'interesting'.

Mine is "ntrstng", personally.

I think that the threads are heated enough as it is.

#176 ::: Kathryn Cramer ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 05:08 PM:

I've just read through a series on Palin by investigative reporter Lisa Demer. The narrative, if you run through the whole series of articles, seems to be that Palin her attorney are wrestling to keep the Monegan firing investigation details out of the legislature and the press and instead have the investigation of her behavior as governor instead subject to personnel laws and government regulations about handling of personnel matters. My links to the articles with choice excerpts are here.

#177 ::: Jen Roth ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 05:10 PM:

'interesting' = 'makes me want to a) throw up and b) alias nielsenhayden.com to 127.0.0.1 in my hosts file for a week'

#178 ::: cgeye ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 05:20 PM:

#171.
"The Western womens movement has gone places and morphed into things both monstrous and absurd. Much to the chagrin of its pioneers."

No, Sten, the western women's movement has been *characterized* as something monstrous by corporations that liked women with additional spending power, but hated their awakening to political ideas that would de-emphasize consumption, obsolescence and work conditions that had families chasing after dollars.

Or does the idea of a stay-at-home husband sound perfectly normalized to you?

Or a man simply doing the majority of the housework, after working all day?

Funny those are sitcom tropes, instead of supported ideas, after all these years.

#179 ::: cgeye ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 05:22 PM:

Speaking of what's really wrong with Palin:

Here's a good site to see research on the larger Dominionist movement:

http://dogemperor.dailykos.com/

#180 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 05:23 PM:

Ginger 151: "Feminists for Life" sure sounds like a Ministry of Truth name to me.

cgeye 167: Hear, hear, and Right On, and all that kind of stuff.

#181 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 05:38 PM:

She's a Christian Dominionist?

Where's Father Peter Crossman with a tank full of holy water when we desperately need him? (Only half joking)

#182 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 05:43 PM:

Paula, Jen:

No. We are not doing this. I have unpublished your comments.

If you can narrowly address Sten's comment about divisions between feminists on the issue of abortion, proceed, but with caution.

But the issue there is whether there is a division or not. We are not discussing abortion here.

#183 ::: Jen Roth ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 05:44 PM:

Withdrawing. See you in a week.

#184 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 05:54 PM:

Sorry to see you go, Jen. I look forward to hearing from you when you get back.

#185 ::: Lance Weber ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 06:12 PM:

James D. Macdonald @172:
If Alaska state govt is anything like Colorado, this is probably a small issue. Basically, the registered agent for the business has to go on to the state website once a year and update the business's status.
The problem is that only the registered agent gets the notifications when this is due, and it's easy to blow it off if you have umptity other things to do. I should know - I've done it before. Fixing it is just a matter of doing the update and you're back in good status.

#186 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 06:30 PM:

Paula #145:

You seem to be arguing that there is no difference between:

a. Believing X should be illegal.

b. Believing X is morally wrong. (May or may not go with (a).)

c. Believing X should not be taught in the public schools.

I don't think that makes any sense, but maybe I'm misunderstanding you. But when someone says "This politician is anti-gun," and it turns out they mean that this politician opposes teaching the NRA's gun safety materials in public schools, I kind of find that a bit confusing. Similar statements apply when X = birth control.

#187 ::: Sten ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 06:32 PM:

cgeye,

Actually, the concept of the plugged-in House Dad sounds perfectly normal to me, because that's largely what I am. If I'm not at work or on duty with the Army, I'm home cleaning up, taking care of my daughter, doing everything that used to be "womens work" and so forth. Cooking, ironing, etc, thus my wife was able to go back to school full-time and get her Bachelors degree. She'll soon be going for her Masters. If this is a "perversion" of the family unit, according to some on the Right, I suppose we're perverts?

And when I say feminism has gone down some odd roads, I doubt it can all be blamed on corporate card tricks. Again, when you free someone from a narrow and artificially constricted life, they're bound to go places and do things you never expected.

For example. 1980's feminists hated porn because it was just more male subjugation and men getting rich off women being objectified. Then the 1990's feminists turned porn to their advantage and suddenly Feminist Porn was born. Now, as we approach 2010, some of the most monetarily successful internet porn sites are run and operated by women who are not exactly shy about telling the world how porn is their way of showing their power and using it to their advantage.

I am quite certain the 19th century and 20th century feminists never desired nor intended for their efforts to yield Danni Ashe or Tera Patrick.

But that's what happened. Among many, many other things.

I thought this link was an interesting look at the subject.

In a way, Palin is like the Porn Feminists. She's treading in "enemy territory" and making it her own. Instead of hating and seeking to destroy the Republicans, she's transforming the very idea of what it means to be Republican. Again, I doubt corporate card tricks or Rovian conspiracy. Palin's quick rocket to the top was no more planned than the pregnancy of her daughter, Bristol.

But Palin has ridden the wave, and I believe if she and McCain succeed in their bid for the Presidency and Vice-Presidency, we're going to see additional fissioning within Feminism et al over what the Palin Vice Presidency might mean, why Hillary Clinton was bypassed by the nominally-feminist Obama campaign, the emergence of the post-Noonan, post-Shlafly conservative feminist phenomenon, etc.

I think a lot of old guard feminists wish Palin didn't exist, which is why she's getting attacked so much.

As someone not terribly thrilled with either Obama or McCain, prior to last Friday, I admit to enjoying the zest that has been pumped into this electoral season by the Palin pick.

She's a ditz. She's a pit bull. She's a talibangelical nut. She's a reformer. She's a token. She's the future of her party. She's a.... She's a.... Everyone has an opinion and everyone is shoutting their opinion at once.

I find it all fascinating.

Feminism, yielding unguessed-at dividends...

#188 ::: Constance ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 06:36 PM:

The difference between pro-choice and anti-choice is that pro-choice is perfectly happy for you to choose to reproduce and anti-choice is determined to make you live her way even if you don't want to reproduce.

Now supposedly if you don't want to reproduce right now or any old time the simple solution according to anti-choice is to not have sex. Period.

That is not going to happen, particularly in situations of rape and incest and abuse and sex work and all the rest of the realities of the lives led by women, that mostly men and certainly white middleclass women ignore.

I have never in my entire life as a feminist seen a woman who sincerely want to reproduce be abused by pro-choice women. It is a farkin' myth, like so many myths. But the abuse heaped on women who are feminists and pro-choice by women who are neither one, o baby, I've been a target.

Men telling women what women do to other women are almost alway wrong, and would do far better to be quiet, particularly when they start lecturing and informing feminists about what is what with feminists and pro-choice.

#189 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 06:37 PM:

Sten:
Palin is the 21st century verson of Phyllis Schlafly: do as I say, not as I do.

#190 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 06:38 PM:

cgeye #137:

I feel like I'm misunderstanding you, because if I'm parsing your comments correctly, they seem genuninely monstrous. You appear to me to be saying that in some sense, women (especially powerful women in the political system) are more-or-less owned by a broad feminist movement--that they are morally obliged to have some loyalty to that movement, not to oppose broad feminist goals, perhaps even to agree with certain important positions of the broad feminist movement.

Now, stated that way, it sounds nuts, so I must be missing something. But what? Why is it worse for a woman to oppose, say, the equal rights amendment than for a man to oppose it? (Or is it worse?)

#191 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 07:03 PM:

Emma #163: My feminist ideal is Molly Ivins. Beer-drinking, country-music loving, down-home Texan.

Yeah, we need Molly back more than ever; anyone have a spare Mobile Emitter for an Emergency Political Commentator Hologram?

#192 ::: Sten ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 07:13 PM:

Constance brings up yet another great point of discussion.

Do men even have a say in the evolution of feminism? Or are we simply bystanders who need to stay quiet and stay out of the way?

#193 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 07:13 PM:

Having personally witnessed how some pro-choice women treat pro-life women, I am not convinced that the RWW (Right Wing Wurlitzer) is the primary culprit. Pro-life feminists get the 'traitor' label a lot and it's weird to see pro-choice women get blisteringly upset at other women because of this single issue, which seems to have gobbled up the entirety of the known female universe like a gargantuan political singularity.

Sten, there is a very good reason for this.

I think you are confusing the freedom of choice that feminism pushes for (the choice to be a stay at home mom, a working mom, a working or stay-at-home non-mom, a politician, or what have you) with the need to combat the politics of removal of choice. It is not anti-feminist to be a stay-at-home mom or to personally find brtn abhorrent. It is anti-feminist to force another woman to be a stay-at-home mom or to undergo either brtn or child-birth.

You have probably heard the saying "Feminism is the radical notion that women are people." Unpacking it a little, feminism can be described as a movement to rescue personal empowerment and individual choice from the slavish shackles of fixed gender roles.

The "pro-life" movement has for the most part been about taking choices away--not just arguing that brtn is morally wrong, but actively persuing the goal of making brtn legally unavailable.

For a woman to wear the cloak of feminism, and to preach from the pulpit she can only access thanks to the hard work of generations of feminists before her, to disguise and pursue what are ultimately the politics of taking choices away from women is an act of treachery.

So that's why.

#194 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 07:27 PM:

#187 Sten

If she's a Christian Dominionist, Gov Palin is not a feminist. It's like like that the square root of minus one is a rational number.

My perspective of Christian Dominionists has resonances to Godwin's Law--all logic is fled and rationalism hath evacuated. Working with imaginary numbers has logical rules and yields real results. Christian Dominionists... note I typed "only half joking" about calling for Peter Crossman with lots and lots of holy water. Peter Crossman's world had a much larger real-world amplitude.

==

regarding "porn" and feminism... I think you missed the 1980s and earlier, there was a lot of discussion actually regarding "porn".... the real bottom line was "is this consensual among adults non-power-abusive, or is this a non-consensual dominance / abusive situation?" "porn" was side-issue/artifact, of definition and perspective and orientation. Go into the romance settion and look at almost any book marked "paranormal romance" Some of them have activities in them that would have gotten the books banned in a millisecond years go, and then there are the ones that got into areas once referred to as "kinky." Randomly grabbing a title may or may not land you with one with e.g. BDSM in it... but then, that exists in some science fiction, too, such as what was the title, Space Gothic, by Donald Barr, from decades ago....

But anyway, there discussion that went on was over power and relationships, and it is not new. Where are the bounds on play/abuse? At what age is consent and non-abusive large age-mismatch relationship possible/reasonable?

The bans on professor-student and student-teacher relationships tend to be due to power imbalance--the instructor has power over an aspect of the student's life. There's a recent book out, it was discussed on NPR yesterday, from a woman who wrote about being raped long ago... and the piece brought out calls from women who said they'd been raped by professors and had been powerless to object/protest/prosecute, calls from others who said that their mothers had been raped and it was only many years after they were on their own that they found that out and it explained their upbringing....

Back in the 1960s unless someone was a model nun or had community attestation to virginity before marriage and absolute marital fidelity with character witnesses able to account for her every actio, changing someone with rape got the person making the rape charge treated as an offender, rather than a victim. The was some change in that in the 1970s and 1980s, but... In more recent years there was less and less pin the blame on the victim, but it victimization and villification of victims has been coming back.

And then there was Mrs Schlafley who never waivered from her pronouncement that anyone who was attacked sexually had really actually asked for it and so there was no such thing as rape (yes, that vile being actually said that. There are lots of reasons I regard that entity as vile.)

#195 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 07:43 PM:

#190 albatross

The Equal Rights Amendment was murdered by Schlafly and her "unisex toilets" villification--when, in facts, toilets actually WERE unisex [rant about little boys pissing all over the toilet seats and floor in the women's bathrooms deleted... .there's a lot less of that these days at least around here, because often as not Daddy is doing the shopping with the kids or both the father and the mother in father-mother-kids households, are out shopping, and so the mother isn't taking the son(s) into the women's room anywhere near as much as back when ERA got torpodoed....]

In that much, at least this region of the world is a better place (men doing more of the domestic chores and shopping, and less of little boys pissing all over the women's room with their lack of experienced aim.)

As for the murder of ERA, yes, it was worse to see that entity fighting it, because she was playing Queen Bee going far out of her way to deny opportunities that had been handed to her, to other women who were fighting to try to even get the door to opportunity for equal pay for equal work and opportunity for promotion etc., open.... She was traveling about lecturing telling women the great rewards of being locked in the kitchen, junketing about all expenses paid, while the women trying to get ERA through were busting their butts trying to make ends meet, being denied promotions and travel and paid less than less qualified men they where working with with less experience... while Phyllis was telling the women that the only proper and appropriate role was rearing childing and running a household for a husband--regardless of economic circumstance and marital state (widowed, husband run off, abused by ex-husband, husband disabled...)

It was a lot more bitter to see her torpedoing ERA than men raised to expect a wife who would always be at beck and call... not appreciated, but understandable that someone would not want to lose their Privilege. Phyllis, however, was abusing other women and playing Queen Bee.

It;s not that it was inoffensive to see anti-ERA males, it was that it was doubly infuriating to get attacked by Phyllis the Privileged Woman.

#196 ::: Summer Storms ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 08:13 PM:

::carefully[?] stepping back into the fray::

John L @ 76, in re: putting one's family squarely into the spotlight and then complaining when that spotlight points up something unsavory: Hear, hear!

When you're running for office on the ticket of a party that paints itself as being all about "family values", then you really had better make sure that your own family is a good example. If it isn't, then you'd better be prepared to take a lot of criticism. That goes for any strongly stated position - if you're going to make a lot of noise about it, you'd better be the poster child for it. If not, you'll come off looking like a damn hypocrite.

What the Republican Party has right now is a ticket of two hypocrites, and that's got to be painfully obvious to at least the thinking population among them. How anyone can even seriously continue the charade that they're somehow the better party and that their candidates are somehow better than anyone else's is beyond me.

Oh, wait: the Conservative/Republican sanitizing machine is oh-so-carefully redacting the record so as to remove all that pesky evidence that points to their candidates being other than as advertised...

Calliope @ 116: The "Under God" thing is also available here. It's the last quote on the page.

#197 ::: Summer Storms ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 08:16 PM:

Albatross @ 190: My *personal* opinion of women who oppose equal rights for women is that they are traitors to their own gender (and their species, really). Why? It's simple: women and men are equal human beings, with equal intrinsic value, deserving of equal rights and the recognition of those rights, that humanity and that value. Note that "equal" does not mean "identical", and if women are seen as HAVING equal rights, that in no wise means that every woman is required to indulge in or engage in or actively take advantage of everything that she has a right to indulge in, engage in, or benefit from. It simply means that she can, if she so chooses. If, on the other hand, she chooses not to do so, or chooses to be bound by some other code which prohibits her from doing so - from, say, working outside the home, working in certain occupations, using contraception or otherwise taking control of her own reproductive life - well, that is a decision that she is free to make. But for her to attempt to restrict other women to only doing what she chooses to do, while requiring them to avoid what she avoids, is abhorrent. I tend to see women who oppose equal rights for their gender in much the same way as I would have viewed a black man - or woman - who, during the height of the civil rights movement, stood up and said, "I don't want to eat at white lunch counters, or sit anywhere other than the back of the bus, or send my kids to a nonsegregated school, so I don't want the law to allow me to do those things." In short, I would have suggested that he have his head examined, or possibly asked if he'd ever heard of the idea of letting people make their own decisions.

I tend to view women who oppose equal rights for their gender as women who are - at least deep down in their secret hearts - absolutely so afraid that they might stray outside of their own prescribed roles given a chance to do so that they feel they must remove all option of doing so, for everyone.

#198 ::: Kathryn Cramer ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 08:39 PM:

#196: Hmmm. I'm not sure I buy the argument that if you are running for public office that you completely sign away the right to family privacy. But realistically speaking, Palin has more ambition than sense. Regardless of matters of principal, certain aspects of the costs to her family of her accepting the the nomination are predictable. And while as a blogger & parent I may have put my kids at risk from time to time by blogging under my real name, that is of a different order of magnitude to what Bristol Palin has been subjected to by her mother. There are matters of principle and then there is reality. Regardless of principle, Palin should have understood the reality of the exposure.

#199 ::: Randolph ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 08:49 PM:

[Brief note on canine genetics & psychology.]

Jen, #139: Pit bulls... You cannot domesticate most wolves through training no matter how much you train them--the adults will hunt, and challenge for dominance. Pit bulls with the right genes have the potential for extreme aggressive behavior but don't always develop it. I don't know if it also requires training of pups, or if it can just emerge unexpectedly in adults.

#200 ::: Summer Storms ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 08:52 PM:

Kathryn, where did I ever say, "if you are running for public office that you completely sign away the right to family privacy"?

No, my point was that when you decide to run for public office and you deliberately make your family a part of or an example of your platform, you cannot realistically expect to then maintain the sort of privacy you may have had before that. Rather like how, once you decide to eat some of your cake now, you cannot expect to still have the whole cake left to eat later.

And I maintain that the only reason so much is being made of Bristol's situation is that it is completely at odds with the way in which her mother attempts to paint the family, and it points up some of the problems and failures inherent in the social code that Sarah Palin and those who think like her would like to impose upon the rest of America.

There are matters of principle and then there is reality. Regardless of principle, Palin should have understood the reality of the exposure.

Precisely.

#201 ::: Madeline F ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 09:04 PM:

Sten 192: Of course men have a say; it's like Nicole says at 193, the point of feminism is that freedom of choice should trump fixed gender roles. So every time you're like, "oo, maybe I should put the pink shirt back even though it looks good on me" or "man, I'd like to be a nurse, but I don't want my friends to think I'm a wimp" you're negatively affected by fixed gender roles, and feminism is the answer. The problem affects you, you have a say in the solution.

Still, a lot of the time it's better to shut up and listen, because women have way more experience with the bad effects of fixed gender roles. Part of the problem is that men assume they have the answers, because thanks to the fixed gender roles they've always been the ones whose answer got heard.

And most men don't really want to hear that they have it better off and that oughtta change, so most men can't really talk about feminism in any kind of sensible way.

#202 ::: John Mark Ockerbloom ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 09:25 PM:

Sten asks:

"Do men even have a say in the evolution of feminism? Or are we simply bystanders who need to stay quiet and stay out of the way?"

That seems like a pretty obvious false dilemma to me. Doesn't it to you?

If not, let me throw another false dilemma out there, for rhetorical purposes: Do you care about improving the treatment of women from second-class citizens (or worse) to the same level of respect as men get? Or do you simply care about whether or not you get to wear the shiny "Feminist" button that all the cool kids are wearing?

As I said, this is also a false dilemma; I'm not claiming you have to be one or the other of these things. But if the Clinton and Palin campaigns have made anything clear, it's that there's still a lot of sexism infesting American society, that needs to be ameliorated.

Women are my co-workers, my friends, my family members. One special woman is the love of my life. I owe it to them not to "stay quiet and stay out of the way" but do what I can to stop injustice against them. I also need to listen carefully to what they have to say. (Not that I have to treat everything any woman says as gospel; women don't speak with one voice, and no person is guaranteed to be Always Right. But members of an oppressed group generally have first-hand insight into the nature of their oppression that privileged outsiders don't.)

I hope I manage to do good by them. At the same time, there are many folks who would say that I'm not a feminist, due to things like my position on brtn (which I don't want to derail the thread arguing or going into detail about, but let's just say is more or less pro-life).

Fine; people can classify me as they like. I don't particularly care whether or not I get called a feminist, and to avoid confusion or pointless definitional wars I usally don't apply the term to myself. I like to think that doing the right thing, as I can best make it out, is much more important than getting to wear the cool shiny button. And I certainly hope I don't let the lack of a button keep me from doing the right thing anyway.*


* (The basic "shiny button" idea is not original to me; I've seen a similar idea on a feminist blog , but don't recall which one, or what form the metaphor took. I'm also now having a hard time getting the Lavin/Gorka song "Sensitive New Age Guys" out of my head. Such is life.)

#203 ::: Will Entrekin ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 10:28 PM:

@Abi (141): So what country do you live in? I live in America (first Jersey, then LA, now Colorado), and ours is a country founded on strife that has, in its two-and-a-half hundred year history, rarely known much else. Not just with other countries, but also in our own. The Civil War: strife. Two World Wars: strife. Korea and Vietname: strife. And it's not just the wars; the civil rights movement: strife.

It's all strife, beginning to end, and I can't remember the last time in recent memory standing back and letting the issues decide the cause has actually worked.

I won't claim our nation was founded on racism and sexism because it was a product of another era. But I will say it took hundreds of years to recognize it and fix it, and that doing so was rarely accomplished by claiming decency. It was accomplished through strife.

Because the oppression? The oppression of rights to blacks and women and gays? The claim of pro-life? The claim of "family values"? Those are perpetrated by people in the name of decency. If decency is conformity to a recognized standard of propriety, good taste, and modesty, I say forget it. I say leave it to those who claim the moral high ground.

I don't. I don't mind being indecent at times. No one's ever called me modest, and people question my taste all the time. And I think, this time around, we need to win a decisive victory. It's not enough to try to let the Right's attack machine run itself into the ground, because that hasn't worked in nearly a decade. My biggest fear is that the election will be as close as it has the past two times. Because if it is, you can guarantee that the Right will not sit quietly by to let it occur, as they so radically proved in Florida in 2000. And yes, I'll admit, it is a fear; I'm quite literally terrified of the idea of four more years of the same old thing.

#204 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 10:40 PM:

Will - 'all strife'?

No, it wasn't all good, all the time, for everyone, but that isn't what you're saying.

#205 ::: Adrian Smith ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 10:42 PM:

Sten@192: Do men even have a say in the evolution of feminism? Or are we simply bystanders who need to stay quiet and stay out of the way?

What it is, is that if you charge in exuding opinions all over the place without doing a fair amount of lurking/research you will quite likely come out with things that have been already been done to death (these are known as 'tropes' for some reason) and find yourself being patronised (matronised?) to within inches of your dignity.

FWIW, it is possible to win points by telling other men to put a sock in it. But you must under no circumstances ask for a Cookie.

#206 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 11:02 PM:

Will #203:

When you're done discarding the principles for which you're fighting in order to win, how do you suppose your victory will work out? Well, there was a candidate who would have set a bad example w.r.t. womens' rights and feminism, who would have opposed Burton and supported Republicans. And all we had to do in order to defeat her was to make it acceptable for folks on the left to use sexualized images of female public figures to shut them up, and to dig deeply into the private lives of uppity powerful women and their daughters.

Right now, to our eternal shame, some terrorism suspect is being tortured. His existence is likely hidden from any relevant legal system. His wife and kids are being threatened or worse to get him to talk. We are doing these things to protect civilization from thugs who like to hurt people, to uphold a society based on the rule of law, to protect the innocent from violence.

The medicine you are selling is potassium cyanide with an arsenic chaser. And it's a medicine we're already taking regularly to ward off terrorists, violent criminals, "anarchists," sexual predators, drugs, and dozens of other evils, some of which even exist. I predict you will find many buyers, unfortunately.

#207 ::: John Mark Ockerbloom ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 11:03 PM:

Cookies! That was the metaphor I'd seen previously that I couldn't remember-- thanks, Adrian.
See this Angry Black Woman blog post for a more concise and elegant explanation of Cookies than the one I had for Buttons.

#208 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 11:06 PM:

Adrian Smith @ 205: "But you must under no circumstances ask for a Cookie."

However, if you are a Good and Proper Feminist Man, you may of course bake your own.

#209 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 11:25 PM:

Summer Storms #197:

You said:

My *personal* opinion of women who oppose equal rights for women is that they are traitors to their own gender (and their species, really). Why? It's simple: women and men are equal human beings, with equal intrinsic value, deserving of equal rights and the recognition of those rights, that humanity and that value

Why is the gender of the person opposing equal rights for women relevant here? The argument you're giving here is one for why anyone ought to support equal rights for women.

I'll admit that the notion of someone being a "traitor to their gender" (or race, sexual orientation, blood type, eye color, etc.) seems like a moral obscenity to me. Morality doesn't give a f--k what color or gender you are, or which gender(s) you prefer in bed. Going down the path of "traitor to your X" leads to nothing but evil, as far as I can see. If I, a white man, accepted the idea, what policies would I support to avoid being a traitor to my race? The fact that those policies are evil is a very good reason to ignore such concerns, and just try to support policies that make sense and do good.

#210 ::: Summer Storms ::: (view all by) ::: September 05, 2008, 12:05 AM:

Albatross: the answer to your question is in the rest of my post. I find it particularly offensive when a person who belongs to the group of people whose rights are curtailed favors that curtailment. What is hard to understand about that?

Note that I never said that I *don't* find it offensive when someone who is not a member of that group supports curtailing the rights of that group. If I had said that, you'd have genuine reason to question me, but I didn't.

Shorter me: I am offended when men oppose equal rights for women, but I am even more offended when women oppose equal rights for women. It's stupid to support ideas that keep a group that you yourself are part of in a position of second-class citizenship. I find stupidity offensive, and willful stupidity moreso.

I swear I write these posts in plain English, but I wonder what language they are rendered in on some people's computers... *sigh*

#211 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: September 05, 2008, 12:10 AM:

Wait, wait! I think abi and Will are talking about two different things!

I'm pretty sure abi just means that being overly personal -- slurs against Chelsea Clinton personal, which the GOP always finds just fine but never seem to happen to Jenna and not-Jenna for some reason -- is not the way to win hearts and minds. I agree.

But on the other hand, what I think Will means is that pulling your punches every time -- like always being sure to praise John McCain for his honorable honorableness as a POW with honor -- is not the way to win elections. And ... I agree.

I think Obama should, in fact, pull out all the stops, and be cutting for once. He'd win in a heartbeat if he did that (well -- he's going to win anyway). If -- just once -- he laughed at one of McCain's damn fool slip-ups, or got properly hot under the collar at the unbelievable mess McCain and his ilk have made of our nation -- if, in short, people made fun of Republicans for being short-sighted moronic jerks and let them go on making fun of the children of Democrats as ugly or whatever -- then the result would be a real win.

Actually, Obama's doing OK on this account, for my money. He's no John Kerry, that's for sure. I figure, as long as we keep Kerry's campaign advisors far, far away from the Obama campaign, we ought to be fine. I'm still mad at him for rolling over. "Oh, that's fine, George, we won't actually debate if it makes you uncomfortable."

Of course, I may be wrong -- maybe Will is, in fact, calling for Obama to sling the stinkiest mud possible. I just don't think so. I think he just wants some straight talk from somebody for once.

#212 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: September 05, 2008, 12:16 AM:

So, is the Palin nomination the defining moment of Sixth Wave Feminism?

#213 ::: Matt McIrvin ::: (view all by) ::: September 05, 2008, 12:33 AM:

I keep hearing the still, small voice of The Editors of The Poor Man telling me "these rats won't fuck themselves".

But what makes me leery of that is the attack with widespread collateral damage. When people try to take down Ann Coulter or Sarah Palin with sexist attacks, they're not just hurting the target, they're hurting women as a group. (And in the case of Coulter, probably helping her, because she's a professional misogynist herself.)

Now the counterargument to this is, "we're in such an unprecedented national emergency, we have to give up most of our principles and even hurt our friends and allies, because the alternative is that millions die and the cities burn." I keep hoping that that's not true, that we can win with a relatively decent strategy. But the politics of the past decade and a half just grinds you down. It's hard not to come to the conclusion that (I think I read somewhere on Fred Clark's Slacktivist blog) C. S. Lewis called the great modern heresy, that evil is simply stronger than good and good needs to adopt evil means to triumph. Lewis had theological reasons for not believing that, but I guess I'm stuck on wishful thinking and some days it's not so believable.

#214 ::: Summer Storms ::: (view all by) ::: September 05, 2008, 12:35 AM:

Me @ 210... Albatross, please disregard the snarky statement at the very end of my previous post. I'm tired, I'm sweating in what sure as hell feels like more humidity than Weather.com claims we currently have, my bad knee wishes it would just rain already and get it the hell over with, and in short, all of the above have conspired to make me bitchy.

I think I need a beer.

#215 ::: Raphael ::: (view all by) ::: September 05, 2008, 01:38 AM:

Will Entrekin @203:

If decency is conformity to a recognized standard of propriety, good taste, and modesty, I say forget it.

It isn't, and aside from you, noone here has said it is.

#216 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: September 05, 2008, 01:56 AM:

cgeye @ 137: "There are always spokesmodels for unpopular causes that exist solely to defuse accusations of racism and sexism in their actual policies."

That explains what the Republicans get out of them, but not what they get out of the Republicans.

In our two party system, a lot of axes get collapsed down to a single axis. If you lean one way on one axis, and the other on another, you've got to prioritize, and everyone does this differently. Palin has decided that her identity as a fundamentalist social conservative is more important to her than her identity as a woman (probably by denying that her identity as a woman has any importance at all.) That's fine; she can decide that not paying taxes and hating gay people is more important to her than being treated with respect. It's when she pretends that she's striking a blow for feminism that I get angry.

Sten @ 144: "I think of anti-abortion feminists at a time like this. They might agree with orthodox feminism on aspects of the economy, schooling, healthcare, etc, but because of religious (usually) or moral reasons they cannot accept on-demand abortion as either a moral or ethical avenue for women to take. And thus they oppose abortion, and are largely shunned by mainstream feminism for breaking with orthodoxy on that single, very important subject."

You make it sound as though feminists are placing an arbitrarily high value on reproductive rights. They're not--reproductive rights are a cornerstone, bedrock concept upon which the rest of feminism is built. Claiming to be feminist while opposing reproductive rights is like claiming to be pro-technology while opposing the transistor. Without control over one's own body, everything else is a mirage. More opportunity in the workplace is meaningless when an unintended pregnancy can derail your career. Being able to freely explore your own sexuality is useless when doing so can involuntarily rearrange your internal organs for nine months. It's treated as incredibly important because it is.

albatross @ 190: "I feel like I'm misunderstanding [cgeye], because if I'm parsing your comments correctly, they seem genuninely monstrous. You appear to me to be saying that in some sense, women (especially powerful women in the political system) are more-or-less owned by a broad feminist movement--that they are morally obliged to have some loyalty to that movement, not to oppose broad feminist goals, perhaps even to agree with certain important positions of the broad feminist movement."

My perspective (for the little it is worth) is that one is only a traitor to feminism if one claims that label and then works to undermine it. You cannot betray a country of which you are not a citizen, and a woman who doesn't claim to be a feminist cannot be a traitor against it. The problem is that anti-feminist spokeswomen call themselves feminists with disturbing regularity. They go on TV and advocate a faux-feminism that denies any linkage between the really quite popular results of feminism (more jobs, more education, more social freedom, etc. for women) and the underlying theory (the patriarchy, systematic historical oppression of women, reproductive rights, etc.) They're trying to deprive feminism of its roots, which is either self-defeating ignorance or deliberate malice. Either way, they are wearing feminism's uniform and fighting for the enemy.

#217 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: September 05, 2008, 01:58 AM:

cgeye, #137: I'm with you on this. In any situation where there's one group with a lot of power/privilege and another with much less, there will be those in the latter group who are willing to play along with the former for perks. Some of those people eventually become known by specific terminology: "Uncle Tom" and "collaborator" are the canonical examples. "Token" seems to be the current equivalent usage.

And at #169: Again, I'm with you. The idea that "tolerance has to include tolerance for intolerance or it's not really tolerance" is a bully's argument. It puts all the power into the hands of the bully, and leaves the target with no legitimate means to fight back. I decided a long time ago that I am not morally required to smile and nod at people who want to see my rights stripped away; "intolerance", when used against my fighting them, is nothing but a magic-word argument.

Republicans, you may have noticed by now, are very good at magic-word arguments. That's how they've gotten the level of power they have today, by controlling the discourse and defining the terminology -- how did "liberal" get to be a dirty word that could scuttle someone's career? One of the biggest problems the Democrats have is that they don't have any linguists helping them neutralize that Republican advantage!

Lance, #153: I'd be interested in seeing that checklist.

Sten, #170, 187, 192: Are you deliberately trying to be divisive, do you enjoy "stirring up a good debate"*, or are you just that friggin' clumsy?

Nicole, #193: Good explanation! Do you mind if I use it from time to time?

* Be warned: that particular tactic/excuse set is popular with trolls, and may incline people to think that you're arguing in bad faith if you use it.

#218 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: September 05, 2008, 02:06 AM:

Will:

Michael has it right here:

I'm pretty sure abi just means that being overly personal -- slurs against Chelsea Clinton personal, which the GOP always finds just fine but never seem to happen to Jenna and not-Jenna for some reason -- is not the way to win hearts and minds.

The particular slur I was railing against is in the disemvoweled text in comment 34. And if we have to go there to win, I don't know what it's time to do. Despair, first, and work down from there.

#219 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: September 05, 2008, 02:17 AM:

Matt, #213: Here's something I think of as a non-theological reason to beware sinking to your enemy's level:

We encourage people who have trouble with self-confidence to practice the language and behavior modes of confident people. The reason we do so is that it becomes a self-reinforcing cycle; when you act like a confident person, people respond to you as if you were indeed confident, and this in turn increases your confidence level.

What is used for good can be used for ill as well. If we ape the behavior of evil people*, two things happen: (1) we encourage people to react to us as if we are indeed evil, and (2) we become comfortable with that behavior. This is NOT a desirable outcome!

* Don't anyone even think about trying to convince me that Karl Rove is not evil. You will not succeed.

#220 ::: Adrian Smith ::: (view all by) ::: September 05, 2008, 02:21 AM:

One of the biggest problems the Democrats have is that they don't have any linguists helping them neutralize that Republican advantage!

Lakoff was sort of trying, but not much seems to have come of it.

#221 ::: Summer Storms ::: (view all by) ::: September 05, 2008, 02:35 AM:

Abi, it was never intended as a slur, nor as a method to "win" anything. It was intended, both by the original person who uttered it to me, and by me in repeating it in this thread, as simple speculation on what sort of reasoning might lead someone to the actions on record in the situation on record, and an observation that WERE a particular sort of reasoning at work, THEN the person in question could certainly be viewed as severely hypocritical, from one or two angles at least. The same speculation might well arise in my mind in relation to anyone NOT on the public stage or in politics or in any position of influence whatsoever, were the various factors similar and were I to know about it. The only reason it came up at all was because the past eight years (and more) have trained me and most of my friends to automatically expect for hypocrisy in Republican politicians, whether in the realm of civil rights, reproductive rights, military actions, or any of a multitude of other things. And whose fault is that?

Note also that my evaluation of the individual in question as hypocritical and a bad political choice is by no means limited to that one very personal element. There are - as I have stated multiply and previously - any number of reasons why I view her in that light, and the one that earned disemvowelling is a drop in the bucket.

But I'm bad for allowing my thinking to go in one particular direction, apparently. So be it.

Either way, I thought I'd read a comment from you to the effect that the subject was closed and ought to be forgotten? And yet here I find a signpost pointing back the way we came, ensuring that it will not be forgotten, merely that my intentions will remain misunderstood, and that others will be reminded what a bad girl I am from time to time. Apparently my function here is to serve as a living example of What Not To Do. Again, so be it. But since there are plenty of people more qualified than I to serve in that role, perhaps it is time for me to move on? (And just to be clear, that is intended as a legitimate question, not as a threat to flounce.)

#222 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: September 05, 2008, 02:36 AM:

Adrian Smith @ 220

Not many people (as a percentage of, say, the total number of Liberal Democrats in the US) have heard of Lakoff, let alone read even one of his books. A damn shame, too; the man has some seriously compelling insights into how humans actually think, as opposed to how we think we think. To a certain extent, liberals in general have been conditioned by the right-wing punditry not to mention anything too "intellectual", because they get hit over the head with the big "elitist" stick everytime they do.

Randolph @ 199

As I understand it, there is a genetic predisposition in pit bulls, one which is becoming more common in the breed over time, to sudden, uncontrollable, violent behavior that might be called a "psychotic break" in a human. Human children have been disproportionally the victims of such attacks because they're easier to get at and do damage to than adults. So keeping a pit bull in a house with children is problematic.

#223 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: September 05, 2008, 03:22 AM:

Summer Storms @221:

Actually, your comment simply held the most complete statement of the meme. I left it up, disemvoweled, because when we took it out of the Palin and McCain thread, it just popped up here again. How does one talk about what must not be talked about?

I said it in the Palin and McCain thread, in a comment now gone, and I'll say it here. No one is bad for having had such a thought occur to them. That's part of being intelligent and human: wondering what makes other people tick, casting the net wide for explanations. I thought of it. I'm sure many people did. I simply chose not to bring it up in public.

The reasons that I don't want the topic brought up here are simple. One person brings it up as a thought, or a dreadful idea, and it becomes discussable. The corners wear off of it. Then how long before someone else, in a temper, siezes it as the worst thing to throw? We were almost there on the previous thread, within a few hours of the first mention. Then it's an accusation, even though it wasn't at first. I don't want that in play here, on this site.

Also, as I said on the other thread, this is a very, very public place to be discussing matters. I strongly suspect that the Republicans are trawling blogs looking for comments that can be repeated as "liberal slurs", even if they are not accusations in their original context. I would rather they did not find that one here.

I don't think you're a bad person. As a matter of fact, I've been very much impressed with your contribution to this community.

#224 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: September 05, 2008, 03:23 AM:

#212 Earl

No. If Palin is a Christian Dominionist, there is no way. Christian Dominionism is Christian Taliban--no joke, no ha-ha-only kidding, no smileys, no anything of grace or joy.

http://www.religioustolerance.org/reconstr.htm


DOMINIONISM
(A.K.A. CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTIONISM,
DOMINION THEOLOGY, AND THEONOMY)

Excerpts:

Any person who advocated or practiced other religious beliefs outside of their home would be tried for idolatry and executed. Blasphemy, adultery and homosexual behavior would be criminalized; those found guilty would also be executed... Ralph Reed, the executive director of the conservative public policy group the Christian Coalition has criticized Reconstructionism as "an authoritarian ideology that threatens the most basic civil liberties of a free and democratic society."

The status of women would be reduced to almost that of a slave as described in the Hebrew Scriptures. A woman would initially be considered the property of her father; after marriage, she would be considered the property of her husband.

#225 ::: Summer Storms ::: (view all by) ::: September 05, 2008, 03:37 AM:

Abi @ 223:

Okay, when you put it that way, I understand it better. That other thread occurred while I was in yet another brief self-imposed hiatus from the 'Net in order to get a few things accomplished in meatspace, so I neither participated in it, nor even read it until after making my comment on this one. Wasn't even aware it had come up, frankly. And the point about not wanting fodder for trawlers is certainly good. This is a quality blog and I would hate to see it trashed.

And I'm glad to know I'm welcome here, even if I'm not nearly as prolific as many others. I don't say a lot sometimes, and not much is said to me, but I really do enjoy the sense of community here, and I certainly enjoy the discussions, whether I participate or merely observe from the sidelines. I try to add what I can, and when I've nothing to add, I settle back to take in what others have contributed.

So, there we are. I feel better now. Thank you.

#226 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: September 05, 2008, 09:09 AM:

Lee #219:

More fundamentally, if you think your side is the one that's more supported by rational discussion, then turning the argument into a bar fight probably doesn't further your objectives, long-term. If we[1] go down the path to pure identity politics or us-vs-them or the nastiest crap we can get away with putting on the airwaves in our attack ads, we may win this election, but we also make the environment worse for our cause in future elections.

[1] "We" in this sense means "people who think their values are better supported by politics based on rational discussion than on politics based on identity, appeals to emotion, or 30 second attack-ad smears."

#227 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: September 05, 2008, 09:11 AM:

Summer Storms #214:

No problem. If I had to write an apology for every time I stuck more snark than I intended into a post, my hands would fall off from all the typing.

#228 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: September 05, 2008, 10:18 AM:

Lee #219:

Nah, Karl Rove's not evil. That's just a rumor sparked by his wearing that black mask and cape, making scary breathing sounds, and using the force to choke people who mouth off to him. Really, he's quite understanding.

I find your lack of faith...disturbing.

#229 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: September 05, 2008, 10:53 AM:

#226 albatross

One more Supreme Court judge in the mold of Alito, Scalia, or Clarence Thomas, and this country will become a theocracy the "Christian" counterpart of Taliban-run Afghanistan.

30 years ago Afghanistan had women who were lawyers, judges, professors.... under Taliban women were locked in purdah and not allowed out o the house. Look at the description for Christian Dominionists at www.religioustolerance.org I thin the site URL is.

The Bill of Rights has already been abrogated. Smearing the smearers with the truth--o that Palin is a daughter-sacrificing barracuda who will throw her own underge offspring under the train for gain and hold up a specials needs as emblem claimng her Motherhood makes her the most qualified candidate for Vice President; o that McCain is a two-timing hypocrital adulterous self-aggrandizing traitorous rat;
o that the Republican platform is a piece of theocratic intolerant traitorous fascist Constitution abrogating hatemongering,
o that the Republican administering of the USA has bankrupted the majority of the population of "We the People of the United States of America" and enriched the rich at the expense of the vast majority of the public
o that the quality of life and access to education, healthcare, jobs that treat people as free workers and not commodity slaves, clean water, breathable air... has been monotonically worsening ever since the Republican took control of Congress while Bill Clinton was President, and deteriorating faster under the misadministration these past nearly eight years
o that George W. Bush committed malfeasance and gross negligence in persisting to complete ignore the threat posed by Al Qaeda and in failing to ALLOW investigation or any alert of potential terrorist activity from Saudi Arabian nationals, contributing to the mass murder devastion and atrocities on 9/11,
o that the Republican majority in Congress, steamrolled through legislation turning the United States of American into a fascist police state full of spying on private communications, wiretapping without warrants, arrests without warrants, and gag orders, using the shock at 9/11 as excuses to abrogate the US Constitution, and launch a war on third party sovereign nation for which the justification was wholly fabricated evidence
o that the Republican Executive Branch of US Government did with malice and forethought, expose covert operations developed over years and with high risk to informants' lives, which had been monitoring and operating in the realm of tracking materials usable for manufacture of weapons of mass destruction, out of the pure vindictive spite at the public debunking of the fabricated evidence used as justifiction
o that Rep Dennis Kuicinich read 35 Articles of Impeachment on the floor of the House of Representatives against the Republican Executive Branch of US Government for high crimes, misdemeanors, and malfeasance, with not ONE of those 35 articles responded to with the least proof of being unwarranted and the Executive Branch being innocent of the charges.

The Republican Party is corrupt. Its leaders are corrupt. Its leadership is morally, spiritually, and ethically bankrupt. It has squandered the wealth of the country. It has imprisoned and tortured innocent people. It has corrupted the Press, which is no longer "free."

It is a party which deserves to die in infamy.

#230 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: September 05, 2008, 11:10 AM:

Albatross (#226): Very well put! I've avoided commenting on the latest political discussions because the "bar fight"/"identity politics" heated arguments seem so destructive. I know we're *not* rational animals, but it would be nice to pretend that we are in the course of debate -- as much as possible, anyway.

Back near the beginning of this thread, several people agreed with comment #22, on how much this whole thing resembles a Jo Walton novel. I do too. It's hard for me to think of current politics as a natural sequence of events, when it seems so much more like a perverse morality tale whose elements are manipulated by some author or outside agency.

Of course, I also have a not entirely facetious belief in the Gods of Baseball and Tennis, doing just that! (Make too many commercials, and your career in tennis is bound to get derailed....)

#231 ::: Debra Doyle ::: (view all by) ::: September 05, 2008, 11:19 AM:

Matt McIrvin #213: It's hard not to come to the conclusion that (I think I read somewhere on Fred Clark's Slacktivist blog) C. S. Lewis called the great modern heresy, that evil is simply stronger than good and good needs to adopt evil means to triumph.

I rather got the impression that following that conclusion to its logical end was how we ended up with things like extraordinary rendition and Abu Ghraib.

#232 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: September 05, 2008, 11:21 AM:

Lee @217 - If you find my words of use to you, then use them by all means.

Re: "Traitor to her gender" - The country metaphor given upthread is very good--betrayal and treachery is what you call it when a citizen of a country attacks that country. But I'd like to add another: that of a person destroying a building by dropping bombs from the top floor of that building. Could Palin, or Schafly, or Coulter, be giving speeches today spitting upon the equal rights of women, without the hard work of women fighting for equal rights having gone before? I suspect, should these traitors' work succeed, they will share a fate similar to that of the bomber, to suddenly and fatally find themselves without that building's support; but I desperately want them not to succeed, because too many of us are in that building with them.

#233 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: September 05, 2008, 11:36 AM:

Nicole: Now you've got me thinking of Bugs Bunny. "You do realize, this violates the law of gravity. Fortunately, I never studied law."

And unfortunately, these people also seem to think that laws don't apply to them.

#234 ::: Adrian Smith ::: (view all by) ::: September 05, 2008, 11:42 AM:

Bruce Cohen@222: Can't honestly say I've actually read any of his books myself, but then I am in Japan where everything must be ordered through Amazon, which has cut my book-buying by some shocking percentage. The last thing I read about him was this, which was quite a good overview, I thought. Perhaps it wasn't all a waste in the end.

#235 ::: Constance ::: (view all by) ::: September 05, 2008, 11:59 AM:

#192 ::: Sten :::

Constance brings up yet another great point of discussion.

Do men even have a say in the evolution of feminism? Or are we simply bystanders who need to stay quiet and stay out of the way?

No, Constance did not bring that up. A man named Sten who is having a very good time de-railing the actual topic of how dangerous this woman is brought up this non-topic, which topic is really, You.

#236 ::: Randolph ::: (view all by) ::: September 05, 2008, 12:34 PM:

abi, #218: it's not appropriate for a public forum, no, but it is a reasonable speculation; such things were common in the bad old days.

Matt McIrvin, #213: it's called Manicheanism--the belief that the devil is co-equal with god--and you're not the first to observe that US radical-right christianity acts Manichean (Jo Walton has mentioned it), though it denies the belief.

For myself, I think Sarah Palin is Nehemiah Scudder in a dress and I'm agin her.

#237 ::: Adrian Smith ::: (view all by) ::: September 05, 2008, 01:49 PM:

such things were common in the bad old days.

Yeah, but in the bad old days women couldn't know they were carrying a developmentally disabled child.

#238 ::: legionseagle ::: (view all by) ::: September 05, 2008, 04:03 PM:

In "the bad old days" pregnancy was presumed to start when the baby "quickened" i.e. kicked, towards the end of the first trimester.

In "the bad old days" pregnant and nursing mothers were prescribed Guinness to give them necessary iron.

In "the bad old days" juries assumed that just before and immediately after birth women should be given the benefit of the doubt about the sanity of their choices: i.e they should be presumed absent evidence to the contrary to have been intending to do the best for their baby, even if the details needed a bit of glossing.

I don't want to go back to the bad old days, but I'd be much happier then, than in the technologically advanced bad new days, honestly.

#239 ::: Mycroft W ::: (view all by) ::: September 05, 2008, 04:03 PM:

228: ...as the bishop said to the actress...er, sorry, I mean "as George said to Joss around season 4".

#240 ::: Randolph ::: (view all by) ::: September 05, 2008, 04:22 PM:

legionseagle, #238: "I don't want to go back to the bad old days, but I'd be much happier then, than in the technologically advanced bad new days, honestly."

Why, exactly? Not a snark--I'd really like to know.

BTW, quickening generally occurs in the middle of the second trimester. Discussing such matters, it is terribly important to get the physical facts correct--they are often the only thing it is possible to agree on.

#241 ::: Will Entrekin ::: (view all by) ::: September 05, 2008, 04:52 PM:

Raphael (215): No, no one here. That's the definition from dictionary.com. So somebody must think that's what 'decency' is.

@Abi: yeah, I get it, and I'm really not trying to be deliberately obtuse. Michael's a bit right about what I mean, concerning pulling punches, but there's also this element of "when you're done discarding the principles you're fighting for," which to me smacks of moral superiority, and that's something better left to the Right.

Albatross tells me I'm selling potassium cyanide, but he says "Right now some terrorism suspect is being tortured." And if McCain wins, that will not change.

I just bristle at the idea of "we're better than this," because I don't feel that way at all. I feel weak and powerless and flawed, because those in power have so outright abused it, and I want someone who's going to speak plainly and expose the evil. I'm not saying that I want Obama to attack Palin's family; I want him to note that the moral attacks on his character are ironic, given their sources. I want him and Biden to quickly, methodically, deliberately, and conclusively destroy the opposing ticket. I want him to note first that there are terrorism suspects who are being tortured, that this will continue if McCain is elected because McCain has come out in support of it, and then to boldly and emphatically state that given the definition of terrorism as using fear to control and hold power, the GOP is, at this point, a party of terrorism.

To address Michael's response, no, I don't think Obama should sling the stinkiest mud possible. I don't think he needs to. I think he should look Palin dead in her eye and say, "You were president of one of the least populous states in the union. Some student council presidents have more political experience than you. I was the senator of Illinois. That's the one with Chicago in it, in case you were too busy studying your Bible to get to geography."

So I think maybe Michael's also right that we're talking about different things in a way? Sorry I misunderstood you. I'm just way less concerned about winning people's hearts and minds than I am about winning their votes.

#242 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: September 05, 2008, 05:57 PM:

Will:
I feel weak and powerless and flawed

And yet you know evil when you see it. You call it by name and reject it. That's what I mean about principles.

I think that the people running the Republican party are so caught up with winning that they'll embrace evil to do it. They will lie in circulated emails, lie in convention speeches, advocate taking baseball bats to people who disagree with them, wink at torture, SwiftBoat whom they can. If they could find a way to accuse a candidate of nfntcd, they would.

I won't. I don't think you will either. As you say, there's plenty to work with by telling the truth.

#243 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: September 05, 2008, 07:57 PM:

albatross, #226: So the problem becomes one of finding ways to put your message across which will still reach the same gut-level reactions the mudslingers are using, but without turning into a mudslinger yourself. And that is where a good linguist could be invaluable. The exact same top-level message can be very effective or a dismal failure, depending on how it's phrased and presented.

#244 ::: legionseagle ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2008, 03:29 AM:

Randolph @240

My point about the good old "bad old days" (by which I meant the 19th century) was that lack of understanding and inability to measure foetal development scientifically created a lot of grey areas specifically about when a woman could be said to be pregnant and when her actions could be interpreted as being intended to procure a miscarriage. Now, the time att which a woman is considered pregnant has been pushed earlier and earlier as scientific precision increases (indeed, given the stuff about women having to be considered, for medical purposes as "pre-pregnant" at all times, it seems likely to be pushed before conception in the next move) while the political impulse to treat all pregnant women as no longer possessing any formm of bodily autonomy (eg with regard to the food she eats, the jobs she undertakes and whether she has chemotherapy to save her life) has strengthened

#245 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2008, 04:03 PM:

I was having a conversation with a friend the other day, about how some events formed a kind of "natural experiment" about whether their claimed values were their true values. One example of this is the claim from some conservatives of being suspicious of government power and in favor of small government. After 9/11, those folks split into two groups:

a. The much bigger group who decided that when there were scary bad guys out there and their own party was in power, unlimited state power wasn't so bad.

b. The much smaller group who stuck to the principle that government needed to be limited in power. (Think of Ron Paul or Harry Browne.)

Now, even if you think small-government types are all wrong in their ideas, you can have some respect for the ones who stick to those ideas even when it's hard. And even if you think those small-government types are basically right, you can still lose respect for the ones who forget those principles when they become inconvenient.

The nomination of Sarah Palin is another such natural experiment. Check out this blog entry by Dr. Laura (I saw it linked from Dar Kush):

Sarah Palin and Motherhood

The striking thing here, to me, is that while I don't agree with her position, I have a lot of respect for her being willing to stick to it, in light of the enormous flood of (IMO largely manufactured) enthusiasm for Palin as VP. She's sticking to her ideas, rather than sticking to her party or movement. Too damned few people are willing to stick to their unpopular positions when their whole parties or movements or communities are pushing them the other direction, when they face loss of advertisers or publishers or listeners or readers, when their friends and colleagues are going to be mad at them.

To the extent possible, this is something decent people of all parties need to support. That's not because Dr Laura (or Ron Paul) are oracles of wisdom or even are right very often, necessarily. It's because integrity is important, and is seriously undervalued in the culture of politics and pundits we have today.

#246 ::: Syd sees processed meat product ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2012, 02:35 AM:

At 246. Yee-haw.

#247 ::: praisegod barebones calls a SPAM 'A SPAM' ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2012, 05:14 AM:

Because it's said to be easier for the moderators that way.

#248 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2012, 09:44 AM:

It is easier for the moderators that way.

#249 ::: Debbie sees spam ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2012, 04:32 AM:

Spam in any other language is still spam.

#250 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2014, 09:25 PM:

Having been drawn back here by the spam reports, I'd just like to add a historical note:

Obama did indeed win, and his own fund-raising and vote-rousing skills were the obvious part of that. But it sure didn't hurt him that McCain's campaign was repeatedly shot in the feet, back, and other sensitive spots, by Palin's malapropisms, inappropriate behavior, and loose-cannoning. (And this, compared to Biden, who some Dems had been worried about.)

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